Short-term dermal exposure to tannery effluent does not cause behavioral changes in male Swiss mice

Abstract Tannery is a highly polluting activity due to the waste generated by bovine skin processing. Although there are several studies highlighting the health issues faced by workers exposed to tannery effluent, there are no records of experiments testing the neurobehavioral effects resulting from direct contact with this pollutant. Thus, the aim of the current study is to assess the possible neurobehavioral effects of dermal exposure to tannery effluent on male Swiss mice. Animals were divided in three groups, which were subjected to the same experimental time period and conditions: effluent group - animals in direct contact with tannery effluent (for 20 days); control group - animals in contact with pure water; and dry-control group - animals not exposed to water or to tannery effluent. Neurobehavioral tests started on the 17th experimental day. Results of the elevated plus-maze test (anxiety prediction) showed no anxiogenic or anxiolytic effects, memory deficit or depressive symptoms on animals exposed to tannery effluent. Thus, the current results do not support the hypothesis that male Swiss mice dermal exposure to tannery effluents for the same time period and experimental conditions leads to neurobehavioral changes. Therefore, the herein adopted exposure protocol was not good to study the effects of dermal exposure to tannery effluent on the chosen experimental model.