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Homeost Health Dis. 1991;33(1-2):77-88.

Impact of prenatal low-dose diazepam or chlorpromazine on reflex and motor development and inhibitory-learning.

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Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences Department of Physiology, Medical Faculty of Hygiene, Charles Univ., Praha.


Long-term behavioral effects of a low dose of diazepam (1 mg/kg body weight) or chlorpromazine (2.5 mg/kg) administered 2-3 times during the last week of pregnancy i.m. were studied in Wistar rats and compared with sequelae of analogously applied saline as well as with normal ontogeny in controls. Inhibitory learning-and-memory ontogeny was assessed by 3 types of passive avoidance (PA) at 3 different life periods: neonatal, 2 months, 4 months. Also were investigated: development of righting, air righting, hanging on a thin horizontal bar, eye-lid opening, somatic development and mortality. Prenatal application of diazepam had adverse effects in all parameters except of eye-lid opening. The reflex and motor development was retarded, and so was body weight. The high mortality in the diazepam treated progeny was due to increased death rate in males. In all PA paradigms investigated no memory was established in rats given diazepam prenatally. Chlorpromazine exhibited a lesser effect. I.m. saline had doubtless a character of prenatal-stress. The impact of diazepam was therefore the result of its proper action and only of a partial, if any, after-effect of prenatal stressful manipulation of the dam.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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