Effects of aerosol-vapor JP-8 jet fuel on the Functional Observational Battery, and learning and memory in the rat

Carol M. Baldwin, Frank P. Houston, Michelle N. Podgornik, R. Scott Young, Carol A. Barnes, Mark L. Witten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


To determine whether JP-8 jet fuel affects parameters of the Functional Observational Battery (FOB), visual discrimination, or spatial learning and memory, the authors exposed groups of male Fischer Brown Norway hybrid rats for 28 d to aerosol/vapor-delivered JP-8, or to JP-8 followed by 15 min of aerosolized substance P analogue, or to sham-confined fresh room air. Behavioral testing was accomplished with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Functional Observational Battery. The authors used the Morris swim task to test visual and spatial learning and memory testing. The spatial test included examination of memory for the original target location following 15 d of JP-8 exposure, as well as a 3-d new target location learning paradigm implemented the day that followed the final day of exposure. Only JP-8 exposed animals had significant weight loss by the 2nd week of exposure compared with JP-8 with substance P and control rats; this finding compares with those of prior studies of JP-8 jet fuel. Rats exposed to JP-8 with or without substance P exhibited significantly greater rearing and less grooming behavior over time than did controls during Functional Observational Battery open-field testing. Exposed rats also swam significantly faster than controls during the new target location training and testing, thus supporting the increased activity noted during Functional Observational Battery testing. There were no significant differences between the exposed and control groups' performances during acquisition, retention, or learning of the new platform location in either the visual discrimination or spatial version of the Morris swim task. The data suggest that although visual discrimination and spatial learning and memory were not disrupted by JP-8 exposure, arousal indices and activity measures were distinctly different in these animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-226
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Environmental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Aerosol vapor
  • Functional Observational Battery
  • JP-8 jet fuel
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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