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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Impact of gasoline inhalation on some neurobehavioural characteristics of male rats

Amal A Kinawy

Author Affiliations

Psychology department, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University, Egypt

BMC Physiology 2009, 9:21  doi:10.1186/1472-6793-9-21

Published: 24 November 2009



This paper examines closely and compares the potential hazards of inhalation of two types of gasoline (car fuel). The first type is the commonly use leaded gasoline and the second is the unleaded type enriched with oxygenate additives as lead substituent in order to raise the octane number. The impacts of gasoline exposure on Na+, K+-ATPase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), total protein, reduced glutathione (GSH), and lipid peroxidation (TBARS) in the cerebral cortex, and monoamine neurotransmitters dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT) in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum and hypothalamus were evaluated. The effect of gasoline exposure on the aggressive behaviour tests was also studied.


The present results revealed that gasoline inhalation induced significant fluctuations in the levels of the monoamine neurotransmitters in the studied brain regions. This was concomitant with a decrease in Na+, K+-ATPase activity and total protein content. Moreover, the group exposed to the unleaded gasoline exhibited an increase in lipid peroxidation and a decrease in AChE and superoxide dismutase activities. These physiological impairments were accompanied with a higher tendency towards aggressive behaviour as a consequence to gasoline inhalation.


It is concluded from the present work that chronic exposure to either the leaded or the unleaded gasoline vapours impaired the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters and other biochemical parameters in different brain areas and modulated several behavioural aspects related to aggression in rats.