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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2010 Mar-Apr;32(2):158-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2009.11.005. Epub 2009 Nov 27.

Agmatine reduces ultrasonic vocalization deficits in female rat pups exposed neonatally to ethanol.

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1
Department of Psychology, Kastle Hall, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA.

Abstract

Rat pups, in isolation, produce ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs). These USVs have been used as a diagnostic tool for developmental toxicity. We have shown that neonatal ethanol (ETOH) exposure produces deficits in this behavior. The current study was designed to examine whether agmatine (AG), which binds to imidazoline receptors and modulates n-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDAR), could reduce these deficits. In addition, this study examined critical periods for ETOH's effects on USVs by administering ETOH during either the 1st or 2nd postnatal week. Neonatal rats received intragastric intubations of either ETOH (6g/kg/day), ETOH and AG (6g/kg/day and 20mg/kg/day), AG (20mg/kg/day), or maltose on postnatal days (PND) 1-7 or 8-14. A non-intubated control was also included. Subjects were tested on PND 15. Neonatal ETOH exposure significantly increased the latency to vocalize for females and reduced the rate of USVs in both males and females exposed to ETOH on PND 1-7. Agmatine reduced these deficits, in female but not male pups. Subjects exposed to ETOH on PND 8-14 showed no evidence of abnormal USVs. These findings suggest that there may be gender differences in response to AG following neonatal ETOH exposure and also provide further support that the first neonatal week is a particularly sensitive time for the developmentally toxic effects of ETOH in rodents.

PMID:
19945529
PMCID:
PMC2853236
DOI:
10.1016/j.ntt.2009.11.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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