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Teratopharmacological and behavioral effects of coffee in mice.

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Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.


The possible relationship between coffee exposure during pregnancy and the teratopharmacological effects on the developing neonates was evaluated in albino mice. The body weight of pups of treated dams was significantly affected after birth and as the pups grew, their weight gains were lower compared to controls. This effect was time- and dose-dependent and the perinatal treatment was more effective (F(6) = 5.06, p < 0.02) than the prepartum treatment (F(6) = 3.12, p < 0.05). Body hair appearance and eye opening were delayed in all treated groups and again, the perinatal treatment was more effective and dose-dependent. Almost all indices for "locomotor behavior" were affected by all doses of coffee but only in the perinatally treated groups and the effects were neither time- nor dose-dependent. In the "tube restraint test", the latency to the first bite was decreased and the number of bites was increased in the offspring, while in female offspring the effect was opposite. The body weight of female offspring remained low even in young adult animals (F(6) = 9.89, p < 0.005). The brain weight in males was unaffected but in females it was decreased but only at the dose of 2 mg/kg. The liver and kidney weights of both sexes decreased at the lower doses. The protein content of these organs was also significantly affected by coffee treatment. These results suggest that coffee intake during pregnancy should be limited since it produces significant and long-lasting teratopharmacological and behavioral alterations in the offspring.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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