Methylphenidate, marketed as Ritalin, is an emerged pollutant found in wastewater. Methylphenidate exposure at pharmacological doses can modify brain metabolism, however, the consequences of environmental residues remains to be elucidated. This work presents the results of a chronic exposure to methylphenidate residual levels (0.1875 and 1.875 µg/L) consistent with the amount found in the environment. Animals were exposed to contaminated water during childhood and adolescence. Results evidence significant changes in brain architecture such as decreased cortical and increased striatum relative mass and proteins promoted by methylphenidate. To the best the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time that the interference in synaptic plasticity after chronic exposure to environmental levels of methylphenidate is shown.
Key words: Ecotoxicology, emerged pollutants, wastewater, neurotoxicology.
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