Superfund Research Program
Studies on the Mechanisms Responsible for the Cognitive Impairment Caused by Exposure to PCBs
Project Leader: David O. Carpenter
Grant Number: P42ES004913
Funding Period: 1995 - 2000
Project Summary (1995-2000)This project is an electrophysiologic study of the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on long term potentiation (LTP). LTP is one of the best model systems of a parameter related to ability to learn and remember. Preliminary results indicate that LTP is affected adversely by PCBs as well as by hypothyroidisms, which may be caused by PCB exposure. The congener specificity for this action is under investigation. In addition, the effects of various congeners on viability, intracellular calcium concentration, membrane potential and free radical concentration of cerebellar granule cells are being determined. Preliminary results show that some ortho but not some coplanar congeners kill neurons and elevate intracellular calcium concentration. The overall goal of these studies is to determine how and which congeners affect neuronal function.