Lab Reports |

PCBs and Brain Cells

Mike Mitka
JAMA. 2009;301(21):2202. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.760.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


The mechanism by which polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) might affect the developing nervous system and result in behavioral and developmental problems in children has been poorly understood. Now, 3 recent studies by US researchers provide insight into the effects of PCBs on brain cell development.

One study found that in utero and neonatal exposure to PCBs enhanced basal dendritic growth but decreased experience-dependent dendritic plasticity in rats (Yang D et al. Environ Health Perspect. 2009;117[3]:426-435). A second study showed that PCBs affected the excitability of neurons in hippocampal rat brain tissue by altering the calcium ion homeostasis through activity at the ryanodine receptors, a class of intracellular calcium channels (Kim KH et al. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2009.03.002 [published online ahead of print March 13, 2009]). The third study showed that PCBs can stabilize ryanodine receptors in an open position, which could explain why PCBs result in overexcitation of neural circuits (Samsó M et al. PLoS Biol. 2009;7[4]:e1000085 [published online April 14, 2009]).

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Topics
PubMed Articles