Honors Projects


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) had widespread use in the United States in commercial manufacturing in the United States until the late 1970s. Even though they were banned, measurable amounts can still be found in the environment and food sources. PCB has known effects on altering hormone development and behavior in the species Rattus norvegicus. To determine the most crucial developmental time of exposure to PCB in Sprague-Dawley rat pups, rat pups were exposed to PCB at differing weeks of either gestation period or the first postnatal week. Behavioral tests were performed for the different rat pups, as well as blood serum was analyzed for the concentration of thyroid hormone. This paper presents data for PCB exposed pups that were tested for play behavior on PND 22. Statistical tests were used to determine the week of PCB exposure with the greatest effects on the rat pups. The results are that exposure of PCB led to a significant increase in the play behavior of the pups. The dorsal contact play behavior was significantly altered by PCB, while the pin behavior was not significantly altered. The critical window for PCB exposure was not identified, but it can be seen that PCB alters dorsal contact behavior in exposed rat pups.

Publication Date

Fall 12-15-2014