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Behav Brain Funct. 2011 Oct 5;7:41. doi: 10.1186/1744-9081-7-41.

Effects of periadolescent fluoxetine and paroxetine on elevated plus-maze, acoustic startle, and swimming immobility in rats while on and off-drug.

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  • 1Division of Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 3333 Burnet Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA. charles.vorhees@cchmc.org

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Whether selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) exposure during adolescent brain development causes lasting effects remains unresolved.

OBJECTIVE:

Assess the effects of fluoxetine and paroxetine 60 days after adolescent exposure compared with when on-drug.

METHODS:

Male Sprague-Dawley littermates (41 litters) were gavaged on postnatal days 33-53 with fluoxetine (3 or 10 mg/kg/day), paroxetine (3, 10 or, 17 mg/kg/day), or water; half were tested while on-drug (21 litters) and half after 60 days off-drug (20 litters).

RESULTS:

The highest dose of the drugs reduced body weight gain during treatment that rebounded 1 week post-treatment. On-drug, no significant group differences were found on elevated plus maze time-in-open, zone entries, or latency to first open entry; however, the high dose of paroxetine significantly reduced head-dips (N=20/group). No significant effects were found on-drug for acoustic startle response/prepulse inhibition (ASR/PPI) although a trend (p<0.10) was seen, which after combining dose levels, showed a significant increase in ASR amplitude for both fluoxetine and paroxetine (N=20-21/group). No differences on immobility time were seen in the Porsolt forced swim test or in plasma corticosterone at the end of forced swim (N-19-21/group). Off-drug, no effects were seen in the elevated plus maze (N=16/group), ASR/PPI (N=20/group), forced swim (N=19-20/group), or plasma corticosterone (N=19/group). At the doses tested, fluoxetine and paroxetine induced minor effects with drug on-board but no residual, long-term adverse effects in rats 60 days after drug discontinuation.

CONCLUSIONS:

The data provide no evidence that fluoxetine or paroxetine have long-term adverse effects on the behaviors measured here after adolescent to young adult exposure.

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