Species and sex differences in the morphogenic response of primary rodent neurons to 3,3-dichlorobiphenyl (PCB 11)

Sunjay Sethi, Kimberly P. Keil, Pamela J. Lein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


PCB 11 is an emerging global pollutant that we recently showed promotes axonal and dendritic growth in primary rat neuronal cell cultures. Here, we address the influence of sex and species on neuronal responses to PCB 11. Neuronal morphology was quantified in sex-specific primary hippocampal and cortical neuron-glia co-cultures derived from neonatal C57BL/6J mice and Sprague Dawley rats exposed for 48 h to vehicle (0.1% DMSO) or PCB 11 at concentrations ranging from 1 fM to 1 nM. Total axonal length was quantified in tau-1 immunoreactive neurons at day in vitro (DIV) 2; dendritic arborization was assessed by Sholl analysis at DIV 9 in neurons transfected with MAP2B-FusRed. In mouse cultures, PCB 11 enhanced dendritic arborization in female, but not male, hippocampal neurons and male, but not female, cortical neurons. In rat cultures, PCB 11 promoted dendritic arborization in male and female hippocampal and cortical neurons. PCB 11 also increased axonal growth in mouse and rat neurons of both sexes and neuronal cell types. These data demonstrate that PCB 11 exerts sex-specific effects on neuronal morphogenesis that vary depending on species, neurite type, and neuronal cell type. These findings have significant implications for risk assessment of this emerging developmental neurotoxicant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 23 2017


  • Axons
  • Dendrites
  • Developmental neurotoxicity
  • In vitro
  • Neuronal morphogenesis
  • PCB 11
  • Sex bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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