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Effects of chronic uranium contamination on the cholinergic system: in vivo and in vitro approaches

Hélène Ben Soussan has defended her thesis on the 28th September 2009.

Document type > *Mémoire/HDR/Thesis

Keywords > uranium, podzol, freshwater, behavior

Research Unit > IRSN/DRPH/SRBE/LRTOX

Authors > BENSOUSSAN Hélène

Publication Date > 28/09/2009

Summary

Uranium (U) is a heavy metal which occurs naturally in the environment. It is both a
chemical and a radiological toxicant.

 

The aim of this work was:

  • to assess the effects of U chronic exposure on the cholinergic system (biosynthesis and breakdown enzymes, receptors …) and on behaviour of adult, young or predisposed to neurodegenerative illness (ApoE KO) rodents;
  • to grasp the neurotoxic effects of U on human neuronal cells.

 

In vivo, this work shows a structure- (cortex more sensitive than hippocampus), rodent model- (young more sensitive than adults), time- (sub-chronic exposure more harmful than chronic exposure), exposure level- and isotope-dependent effect of U.

 

In vitro, the study underlined the neurocytotoxic U potential and the presence of uranium precipitates in cells. These results show the deleterious impact of U on neuronal cells, and demonstrate that U induces impairments on the cholinergic system and the behaviour of rodents.


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