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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 72-78

Exposure to aflatoxin and aggressive behavior among wistar albino rats

Department of Psychology, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ajibola Abdulrahamon Ishola
PMB Mellanby Hall, UI Post Office, Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JNBS.JNBS_9_20

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Background: Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contaminations of food have impact on human and animal health especially in sub-saharan Africa. However Animal model studies on the role of Aflatoxins in aggression behaviour is limited and this have implication for mental health and aggressive in children and emergent adults. Aims/Objective: The role of AFB1 in excessive territorial aggression behavior in Wistar rats was assessed. Material/Methods: Rodents in the experimental group (Group A, n = 6) were orally infused with AFB1 diluted in dimethylsulfoxide administered 0.3 mg/kg/day on days 1–12. Controls received distilled water similarly on days 1-12 days (Group B). For the observation, an intruder was introduced into the cage containing the residents who are experimental rats treated with aflatoxin and rats in the control treated with distilled water. Records of observations of territorial aggressive behaviors exhibited by the experimental and control rats toward the intruder were recorded. Each rat was given three trials of 5 min each. The study utilized the randomized blocked two-way ANOVA (factors timeline × treatment), followed by a post hoc analysis using Bonferroni correction to analyze the data, and statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: Findings demonstrated that exposure to aflatoxin significantly influenced aggressive behavior among Wistar rats F (1, 322) = 29.89, P < 0.001, η2 = 0.09. Aflatoxin-treated animals significantly exhibited more aggressive behavior than animals treated with distilled water (Bonferroni = 4.04, P < 0.001). Exposure time to aflatoxin interacted with treatment to significantly influence aggressive behavior among Wistar rats F (1, 322) = 3.26, P < 0.001, η2 = 0.10. The mean comparison reveals that there was no significant difference in aggressive behavior of the aflatoxin-treated and distilled water-treated rats from days 1–7. However, significant differences were observed from the 8th day onward to the 12th day. Aggressive behavior increased by 10% as the chronic exposure increases more than 7 days. Conclusion: Aflatoxin-induced toxicity in rodents influenced aggression through exacerbation of neurocognitive decline and brain biochemical distortions leading to aggressive behavior.

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