Effect of styrene on monoamine oxidase B activity in rat brain

Teresa Coccini, Giovanna Randine, Bin Li, Luigi Manzo, Lucio G. Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies have indicated that workers exposed to styrene present a decreased activity of platelet monoamine oxidase B (MAO B), suggesting that this biochemical assay may represent a biomarker for styrene-induced neurotoxicity. This study was undertaken to determine whether exposure to styrene would cause changes in MAO B activity in the target organ - the brain. Groups of rats were exposed to styrene by inhalation at concentrations of 300 ppm for 4 wk or 50 ppm for 13 wk. Both treatments caused significant decreases of MAO B activity in several brain areas, while MAO A activity was not affected. Decreases in MAO B activity were also found in brainstem of rats given styrene (400 mg/kg) or styrene oxide (100 mg/kg) by ip injection for 2 wk. Styrene, styrene oxide, and other styrene metabolites (mandelic acid, phenylglyoxylic acid, and styrene glycol) had no direct inhibitory effect on brain MAO B activity when tested in vitro. These results indicate that exposure to low concentrations of styrene alters MAO B activity in rat brain, suggesting that the observed changes in human platelets may reflect alterations in the nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 8 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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