Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 1935–1943 | Cite as

Alteration in cognitive behaviour, brain antioxidant enzyme activity and their gene expression in F1 generation mice, following Cd exposure during the late gestation period: modulation by quercetin

  • Sumita Halder
  • Rajarshi Kar
  • Nilesh Chandra
  • Archana Nimesh
  • Ashish K. Mehta
  • Swapan K. Bhattacharya
  • Pramod K. Mediratta
  • Basu D. Banerjee
Original Article


We investigated whether in-utero Cd(II) chloride exposure of the dams between 14th to 21st day of gestation affects memory and learning, oxidative stress, antioxidant enzyme activity and their gene expression in brain of the pups in their adulthood. In the Morris water maze, cadmium (Cd) exposure impaired spatial memory which was reversed following co-treatment with quercetin (100 mg/kg). In the passive avoidance paradigm, retention memory was adversely affected but was significantly reversed by co treatment with quercetin (25, 50, 100 mg/kg). The malondialdehyde and catalase (CAT) levels and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity were increased significantly in Cd-treated group, but were reversed by quercetin (all doses). The gene expression for CAT and GST in brain tissue of Cd treated animals also increased many folds as compared to the control, and this effect was decreased on co-treatment with quercetin (all doses), thus matching with the respective enzyme activities. Quercetin (25 mg/kg) when co-treated with Cd caused a decrease in GST activity compared to control, which points towards a complex interplay with oxidative free radicals and promoters and transcription factors. Thus, Cd exposure during late gestation causes impaired spatial and retention memory in the next generation which may be due to alteration of activity as well as gene expression of the antioxidant enzymes, CAT and GST. Quercetin may offer some protection of memory impairment probably by modulating these effects.


Morris water maze Passive avoidance paradigm Catalase Glutathione-S-transferase RT-PCR 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity College of Medical Sciences and G. T. B. HospitalNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity College of Medical Sciences and G. T. B. HospitalNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of PharmacologyVardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung HospitalNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.Department of PharmacologyBara Hindu Rao HospitalNew DelhiIndia
  5. 5.Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences and ResearchSharda UniversityGreater NoidaIndia

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