Three-nitropropionic acid (3-NP) causes biochemical and morphological alterations
in human and animal brain. Young adult male Wistar rats received 3-NP ip. on 5 consecutive
days and were investigated four weeks later (subacute treatment). Acute effects were
investigated 24 h after one ip. dose. Spontaneous or stimulus-evoked activity was
recorded from cortical sensory foci, from subcortical nuclei and from the tail nerve,
in urethane anesthesia. The subacutely treated rats were dissected and organ weights
measured to study general toxic effects.
After subacute treatment, decrease was seen in the theta, and increase in the beta2
and gamma, band of the spontaneous activity, dissimilarly in the cortical vs. subcortical
sites. Latency of the sensory evoked potentials increased in all sensory foci after
subacute treatment. Following acute treatment, amplitude of the somatosensory evoked
potential decreased. The weight of the thymus decreased significantly in the treated
Further studies could elucidate the link between biochemical effects of 3-NP and the
observed functional neurotoxic changes.