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Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders - Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1871-5303
ISSN (Online): 2212-3873

Review Article

Neurotransmitters and Behavioral Alterations Induced by Nickel Exposure

Author(s): María I. Martínez-Martínez , Isabel Muñoz-Fambuena and Omar Cauli *

Volume 20, Issue 7, 2020

Page: [985 - 991] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/1871530319666191202141209

Price: $65


Background: Nickel ions (Ni2+) are a heavy metal with wide industrial uses. Environmental and occupational exposures to Ni are potential risk factors for brain dysfunction and behavioral and neurological symptoms in humans.

Methods: We reviewed the current evidence about neurochemical and behavioral alterations associated with Ni exposure in laboratory animals and humans.

Results: Ni2+ exposure can alter (both inhibition and stimulation) dopamine release and inhibit glutamate NMDA receptors. Few reports claim an effect of Ni2+ at the level of GBA and serotonin neurotransmission. At behavioral levels, exposure to Ni2+ in rodents alters motor activity, learning and memory as well as anxiety and depressive-like symptoms. However, no analysis of the dose-dependent relationship has been carried out regarding these effects and the levels of the Ni2+ in the brain, in blood or urine.

Conclusion: Further research is needed to correlate the concentration of Ni2+ in biological fluids with specific symptoms/deficits. Future studies addressing the impact of Ni2+ under environmental or occupational exposure should consider the administration protocols to find Ni2+ levels similar in the general population or occupationally exposed workers.

Keywords: Nickel, brain, behaviour, neurotransmitter, dopamine, glutamate, GABA.

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