Home > Methamphetamine exposure during pregnancy at pharmacological doses produces neurodevelopmental and behavioural effects in rat offspring.

McDonnell-Dowling, Kate and Donlon, Michelle and Kelly, John P (2014) Methamphetamine exposure during pregnancy at pharmacological doses produces neurodevelopmental and behavioural effects in rat offspring. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience , 35 , pp. 42-51.

In recent years methamphetamine (MA) use has become more prevalent, and of particular concern is its growing popularity of MA among women of childbearing age. However, to date, studies examining MA effects on the developing offspring in laboratory animals are limited. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine if in utero MA exposure in rats at pharmacological doses can have a negative impact on neonatal neurodevelopment and behaviour. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley dams (n=10 dams/group) received MA (0, 0.625, 1.25, 2.5mg/kg) once daily via oral gavage from gestational day 7 to 21. Maternal body weight, food and water consumption were recorded daily. A range of standard neurodevelopment parameters was examined in the offspring during the neonatal period. There were no neurodevelopmental deficits observed with offspring exposed to 0.625mg/kg MA, in fact, there were enhancements of neurodevelopment in some parameters at this low dose. However, exposure to the 1.25mg/kg MA dose resulted in significant impairments in surface righting reflex and forelimb grip in both sexes. Exposure to the 2.5mg/kg MA dose resulted in a significant reduction in ano-genital distance in males, and in both sexes resulted in delayed fur appearance and eye opening, impairments in surface righting reflex and negative geotaxis, and a reduction in body length. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that pharmacologically relevant doses of MA can have profound dose-related effects on neonatal outcome. If extrapolated to the clinical scenario this will give cause for concern regarding the risks associated with this drug of abuse at relatively low doses.


Item Type:Article
Date:June 2014
Page Range:pp. 42-51
Publisher:Oxford
Volume:35
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Subjects:B Substances > CNS stimulants > Methamphetamine
B Substances > New (novel) psychoactive substances
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Pregnancy
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Pregnancy > Reproductive effects of substance use
T Demographic characteristics > Pregnant woman

Click here to request a copy of this literature (must be logged in)

Repository Staff Only: item control page