Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 186, Issue 1, pp 199–207 | Cite as

Antimony-Induced Neurobehavioral and Biochemical Perturbations in Mice

  • Tanzina Tanu
  • Adiba Anjum
  • Momotaj Jahan
  • Farjana Nikkon
  • Mominul Hoque
  • Apurba Kumar Roy
  • Azizul Haque
  • Seiichiro Himeno
  • Khaled Hossain
  • Zahangir Alam SaudEmail author


Groundwater used for drinking has been contaminated with naturally occurring inorganic arsenic and other metals, and metal-contaminated drinking water is the biggest threat to public health in Bangladesh. Toxic metals present in the drinking water have a strong relationship with chronic diseases in humans. Antimony (Sb), a naturally occurring metal, has been reported to be present in the drinking water along with other heavy metals in Bangladesh. Although Sb is present in the environment, very little attention has been given to the toxic effects of Sb. The present study was designed to investigate the in vivo effects of Sb on neurobehavioral changes like anxiety, learning and memory impairment, and blood indices related to organ dysfunction. Mice exposed to antimony potassium-tartrate hydrate (Sb) (10 mg/kg body weight) significantly (p < 0.05) decreased the time spent in open arms while increased the time spent in closed arms compared to the control mice in elevated plus maze. The mean latency time of control group to find the platform decreased (p < 0.05) significantly during 7 days learning as compared to Sb-treated group in Morris water maze test, and Sb-exposed group spent significantly (p < 0.05) less time in the desired quadrant as compared to the control group in probe trial. Sb treatment also significantly altered blood indices related to liver and kidney dysfunction. Additionally, Sb-induced biochemical alterations were associated with significant perturbations in histological architecture of liver and kidney of Sb-exposed mice. These data suggest that Sb has a toxic effect on neurobehavioral and biochemical changes in mice.


Groundwater Toxicity Antimony Anxiety Spatial memory Learning 



We thank MUSC Center for Global Health for their support.

Funding Information

This work was supported by grants from the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh (300(6)-5/52/RABI/BINGAN(1) and the grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh (

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical approval (No: 67/320/IAMEBBC/IBSC) for this study was taken from the Institutional Animal, Medical Ethics, Biosafety and Biosecurity Committee (IAMEBBC), Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. All animals received human care in compliance with the institutional guidelines.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanzina Tanu
    • 1
  • Adiba Anjum
    • 1
  • Momotaj Jahan
    • 1
  • Farjana Nikkon
    • 1
  • Mominul Hoque
    • 1
  • Apurba Kumar Roy
    • 2
  • Azizul Haque
    • 3
  • Seiichiro Himeno
    • 4
  • Khaled Hossain
    • 1
  • Zahangir Alam Saud
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyUniversity of RajshahiRajshahiBangladesh
  2. 2.Department of Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyUniversity of RajshahiRajshahiBangladesh
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  4. 4.Laboratory of Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesTokushima Bunri UniversityTokushimaJapan

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