Early life manganese exposure upregulates tumor-associated genes in the hypothalamus of female rats: relationship to manganese-induced precocious puberty. Academic Article uri icon


  • Prepubertal exposure to low, but elevated levels of manganese (Mn) can induce increased secretions of puberty-related hormones resulting in precocious pubertal development in female rats. These events are due to an action of the element within the hypothalamus to induce the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Because of these prepubertal effects of Mn and because precocious puberty is a serious neuroendocrine disorder, we have assessed whether early life exposure to this environmental element is capable of precociously upregulating the expression of a select group of genes previously associated with tumor growth or suppression, and that have more recently been shown to increase at the normal time of puberty. Female rat pups received a daily dose of either 10mg/kg manganese(II) chloride or an equal volume of saline by gastric gavage from postnatal day 12 through day 22 or 29. At this time, blood was collected for estradiol analysis and hypothalamic brain tissue frozen on dry ice until assessed for gene expressions. Rats exposed to the elevated levels of Mn showed a precocious increase in GnRH gene expression in the preoptic area and rostral hypothalamus on day 29, an action associated with precociously increased expressions of specific tumor-associated, puberty-related genes. These results demonstrate for the first time that prepubertal Mn exposure is capable of activating specific upstream genes regulating hypothalamic GnRH and suggest that these actions are involved in the mechanism by which this element can induce precocious puberty.

published proceedings

  • Toxicol Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Srivastava, V. K., Hiney, J. K., & Dees, W. L.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Srivastava, Vinod K||Hiney, Jill K||Dees, William L

publication date

  • December 2013