It has been suggested that hyperactivity and mental retardation, the most serious clinical aspects observed in children during lead intoxication, may occur as consequence of specific alterations of neurotransmitter functions. In our experiments we indicate that the behavioural patterns observed in chronically lead exposed rats may be correlated with an impairment of the dopaminergic system. Performing our study at two different levels of lead exposure, we found after the last assumption of lead we observed a complete disappearance of these neurochemical variations. Our findings suggest that lead affects dopamine function in different brain areas in reversible manner, inducing effects which are dose-dependent.
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