Neurobehavioral effects in offspring of mice given excess aluminum in diet during gestation and lactation

James M. Donald, Mari S. Golub, M. Eric Gershwin, Carl L Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Aluminum (Al) as Al lactate in a purified diet (25, 500 or 1000 μg Al/g diet) was fed to Swiss-Webster mice from conception through weaning. Weights, food intake and toxic signs were recorded at regular intervals and pregnancy outcome evaluated. Pups were assessed for growth, neurobehavioral development and toxic signs prior to weaning. Offspring were also evaluated with a multi-item neurobehavioral test battery immediately after weaning and again after a 2-week period during which they were all fed control (25 μg/g Al) diet. No maternal or reproductive toxicity was detected and there were no group differences in pup mortality, growth, toxic signs, or neurobehavioral development prior to weaning, with the exception of poor performance in a climbing test in the 1000 μg Al/g diet group. Parameters significantly affected by Al in the postweaning neurobehavioral testing were foot splay, forelimb and hindlimb grip strengths, and thermal sensitivity. Negative geotaxis was inconsistently affected and startle responses were not affected. These results show that maternal dietary exposure to excess Al during gestation and lactation which do not produce maternal toxicity can result in persistent neurobehavioral deficits in weanling mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989


  • Aluminum ingestion
  • Development
  • Foot splay
  • Grip strength
  • Growth
  • Mice
  • Negative geotaxis
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproduction
  • Startle response
  • Thermal sensitivity
  • Weanlings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Toxicology


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