The effect of chronic lead treatment on brain γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA)ergic function was studied in an attempt to correlate the clinical aspects of chronic exposure to the metal with specific neurochemical alterations. [3H]GABA-specific binding and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP) content were measured in various rat brain areas and were found to be increased in the cerebellum and decreased in the striatum of rats after chronic lead treatment. The changes found in the GABA-ergic neurons were correlated with the different levels of lead exposure in rats. Our results indicated that lead selectively affects GABA-ergic function in various rat brain areas, inducing effects which are dose-dependent.
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