, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 1009–1016 | Cite as

Effect of manganese treatment on the accumulation on biologically relevant metals in rat cochlea and brain by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

  • Elizabeth J. Mullin
  • Stacia R. Wegst-Uhrich
  • Dalian Ding
  • Senthilvelan Manohar
  • Vijaya Prakash Krishnan Muthaiah
  • Richard Salvi
  • Diana S. Aga
  • Jerome A. Roth


Manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) are essential transitions metals that are required in trace amounts, however chronic exposure to high concentrations can cause severe and irreversible neurotoxicity. Since prolonged exposure to Mn leads to manganism, a disorder exhibiting a diverse array of neurological impairments progressing to a debilitating and irreversible extrapyramidal condition symptomatically similar to Parkinson’s disease, we measured the concentration of Mn as well as Fe, Zn and Cu in three region of the brain (globus pallidus, striatum and inferior colliculus) and three regions in the cochlea (stria vascularis, basilar membrane and modiolus) under normal conditions or after 30 or 60 days of oral administration of Mn (10 mg/ml ad libitum). Under normal conditions, Mn, Zn and Fe were typically higher in the cochlea than in the three brain regions whereas Cu was equal to or lower. Oral treatment with Mn for 30 or 60 days resulted in 20–75 % increases in Mn concentrations in both cochlea and brain samples, but had little effect on Cu and Fe levels. In contrast, Zn levels decreased (20–80 %) with Mn exposure. Our results show for the first time how prolonged oral Mn-ingestion affects the concentration of Mn, Cu, Zn and Fe, in the three regions of the cochlea, the inferior colliculus in auditory midbrain and the striatum and globus pallidus, two regions implicated in Parkinson’s disorder. The Mn-induced changes in the concentration of Mn, Cu, Zn and Fe may provide new insights relevant to the neurotoxicity of Mn and the transport and accumulation of these metals in cochlea and brain.


Manganese ICP-MS Trace analysis Cochlea Iron Copper Zinc 



Research supported by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) award #R010HH010311-01. We acknowledge the National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Program CHE0959565 for the ICP-MS. We are grateful to the Colón lab for the use of the microbalance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors state that they have no conflicts of interest that affect the objectivity of this publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth J. Mullin
    • 1
  • Stacia R. Wegst-Uhrich
    • 1
  • Dalian Ding
    • 2
    • 3
  • Senthilvelan Manohar
    • 4
  • Vijaya Prakash Krishnan Muthaiah
    • 4
  • Richard Salvi
    • 2
  • Diana S. Aga
    • 1
  • Jerome A. Roth
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Department of Communicative Disorders and SciencesUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  3. 3.Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  4. 4.Center for Hearing and DeafnessUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  5. 5.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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