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Neurotoxicology. 1991 Summer;12(2):179-88.

Treatment with methylazoxymethanol at different gestational days: physical, reflex development and spontaneous activity in the offspring.

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  • 1Institute of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy, University of Urbino, Italy.


Pregnant rats were injected with a single dose of methylazoxymethanol (MAM, 25 mg/kg) on gestational day 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 or 19 and offspring were tested for their physical development, reflex development and spontaneous activity. MAM treatment did not affect gestational and litter parameters at any of the time of administration studied. Treatment at gestational day 14 (GD14) had the most severe effect on functional neurodevelopment until weaning: righting reflex at surface, chimney test, horizontal wire test resulted altered. Administration at GD15, 16, 18, 19 did not affect the performance in these tests. Offspring treated at GD17 showed a delayed eye opening and an impaired performance in the horizontal wire test. When tested at 50 days of age on the rotarod, all the treated groups performed worse than controls with the exception of GD19 treated offspring. Administration at GD14 and GD15 resulted in increased spontaneous activity of the offspring at 21 days but not at 60 days of age. Different degrees of microencephaly were observed for all treated groups. The results indicate that alterations of physical and behavioral development induced by MAM treatment are dependent on the time of MAM administration, and specific behavioral tests are able to detect different abnormalities and differentiate among treatment groups. Some alterations observed in MAM rats undergo to adaptive changes during maturation of the CNS.

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