Sex-dependent metal accumulation and immunoexpression of Hsp70 and Nrf2 in rats' brain following manganese exposure

Omamuyovwi M. Ijomone, Joy D. Iroegbu, Patricia Morcillo, Akinyemi J. Ayodele, Olayemi K. Ijomone, Julia Bornhorst, Tanja Schwerdtle, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Manganese (Mn), although important for multiple cellular processes, has posed environmental health concerns due to its neurotoxic effects. In recent years, there have been extensive studies on the mechanism of Mn-induced neuropathology, as well as the sex-dependent vulnerability to its neurotoxic effects. Nonetheless, cellular mechanisms influenced by sex differences in susceptibility to Mn have yet to be adequately characterized. Since oxidative stress is a key mechanism of Mn neurotoxicity, here, we have probed Hsp70 and Nrf2 proteins to investigate the sex-dependent changes following exposure to Mn. Male and female rats were administered intraperitoneal injections of MnCl2 (10 mg/kg and 25 mg/kg) 48 hourly for a total of eight injections (15 days). We evaluated changes in body weight, as well as Mn accumulation, Nrf2 and Hsp70 expression across four brain regions; striatum, cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum in both sexes. Our results showed sex-specific changes in body-weight, specifically in males but not in females. Additionally, we noted sex-dependent accumulation of Mn in the brain, as well as in expression levels of Nrf2 and Hsp70 proteins. These findings revealed sex-dependent susceptibility to Mn-induced neurotoxicity corresponding to differential Mn accumulation, and expression of Hsp70 and Nrf2 across several brain regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2167-2177
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • brain
  • female
  • male
  • manganese
  • oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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