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Developmental Exposure to Concentrated Ambient Particles and Preference for Immediate Reward in Mice
Link to Journal Abstract
Background: Recent epidemiological studies indicate negative associations between a diverse group of air pollutants and cognitive functioning in children and adults, and aspects of attention deficit in children. Neuroinflammation and oxidative stress are two putative biological mechanisms by which air pollutants may adversely affect the brain.
Objectives: We sought to determine whether exposure to concentrated ambient particulate matter (CAPS) during the first 2 weeks of life, alone or again in adulthood, could alter responding for delayed reward, a critical component of human decision making. Greater preference for immediate reward has been implicated as a component of several psychiatric disorders, addiction, obesity, and attention deficit. Methods: C57BL/6J mice were exposed to ultrafine particles (< 100 nm in aerodynamic diameter; CAPS) using the Harvard University Concentrated Ambient Particle System (HUCAPS) or filtered air in the postnatal period (days 47 and 1013) with and without adult exposure over days 5660. In adulthood, delay behavior was assessed using a fixed-ratio waiting-for-reward (FR wait) paradigm in which 25 responses (FR25) were required to initiate the waiting-for-reward component during which mice obtained free sucrose pellets with the stipulation that these free pellets were delivered at increasing delay intervals. Results: Coupled with increased FR response rates, mice exposed to postnatal CAPS displayed increased FR resets that reinstated short delays, indicating a preference for shorter delays, despite the added response cost of the FR25. No associated changes in locomotor activity were observed. Conclusions: Postnatal CAPS exposure produces an enhanced bias towards immediate rewards, a risk factor for several central nervous system (CNS) disorders. This enhancement does not appear to be the result of hyperactivity. The findings underscore the need for further evaluation of air pollution effects on the CNS and its potential contribution to CNS diseases and disorders.
For this study, C57BL/6J mice were exposed to ultrafine particles (< 100 nm in aerodynamic diameter; CAPS) using the Harvard University Concentrated Ambient Particle System (HUCAPS) or filtered air in the postnatal period (days 47 and 1013) with and without adult exposure over days 5660. In adulthood, delay behavior was assessed using a fixed-ratio waiting-for-reward (FR wait) paradigm
Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Exposure Or Hazard Target
Method Of Study
Risk Exposure Group
Environmental Health Perspectives, 121(1): 32-38 (January 2013)
Environmental Health Perspectives
Allen JL, Conrad K, Oberdorster G, Johnston CJ, Sleezer B, Cory-Slechta DA
Last updated on April 23, 2013
This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.
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