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J Psychopharmacol. 2010 Jul;24(7):1097-104. doi: 10.1177/0269881109348162. Epub 2010 Jan 15.

Lactational exposure to atypical antipsychotic drugs disrupts the pituitary-testicular axis in mice neonates during post-natal development.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Allahabad, Allahabad 211002, India.


Olanzapine (OLNZ) and risperidone (RISP), two widely prescribed drugs for post-partum psychosis, transfer through milk to the neonates. Hence, neonates are susceptible to their adverse side effects. In the present study, the pituitary-testicular axis of lactationally exposed mice neonates (PND 28) was examined to evaluate the reproductive adverse effects. Testicular histopathology, immunocytochemistry and morphometric analysis of pituitary PRL (prolactin) and LH (luteinizing hormone) cells and plasma hormonal (PRL, LH and testosterone) levels were the various end points studied. Significantly regressed testes, reduced seminiferous tubules with disrupted germ-cell alignment, spermatogonial exfoliation into the tubule lumens and sparse sperms in the lumens were observed. PRL-immunointensity and plasma levels were elevated, whereas immunoreactivity and plasma levels of LH were decreased. Plasma testosterone levels were also decreased. The hypogonadism thus observed might be mediated by drug-induced hyperprolactinemia, which further inhibited secretions of LH and testosterone. Age may be the factor which made the neonates vulnerable to the PRL elevation by OLNZ which otherwise causes transient elevation in adults and is considered safe. The adverse impact was persistent until adulthood with higher doses of both of the drugs as evident by the analysis of testicular weight, histology and hormonal profiles of post-pubertal mice (PND 63) lactationally exposed as neonates.

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