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Brain Dev. 2009 Oct;31(9):666-70. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2008.10.007. Epub 2008 Dec 16.

Transgenerational hormonal imprinting caused by vitamin A and vitamin D treatment of newborn rats. Alterations in the biogenic amine contents of the adult brain.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacodynamics, Semmelweis University, H-1445 Budapest, Hungary.


Biogenic amines (norepinephrine, dopamine, homovanillic acid, serotonin and 5-hyroxyindole acetic acid) were measured by HPLC method in adult F1 generation rats' brain regions (brainstem, hypothalamus, hippocampus, striatum and frontal cortex), whose mothers (P generation) were treated with vitamin A or vitamin D neonatally (hormonal imprinting). Many significant differences were found, related to the maternally untreated controls. In the earlier studied P generation females, vitamin A consistently influenced the serotonerg system (5HIAA), while vitamin D the dopaminerg system (DA or HVA). Vitamin A imprinting always resulted in reduced, while that by vitamin D always in increased tissue levels. In the present case (directly untreated F1 generation) the transgenerational effect was not unidirectional, however biogenic amine tissue levels were strongly disturbed and brain-area dependent. The results call attention to the transgenerational effect of hormonal imprinting in the case of receptor level acting vitamins which are frequently used in the most imprinting-sensitive period (perinatally) of human life and suggests that caution is warranted.

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