Behavioral evaluation of adult rats exposed in utero to maternal epileptic seizures

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Lima, Daiana Correia [UNIFESP]
Vale, Tiago Gurgel do [UNIFESP]
Arganaraz, Gustavo Adolfo [UNIFESP]
Vasconcelos Varella, Pedro Paulo [UNIFESP]
Frussa-Filho, Roberto [UNIFESP]
Cavalheiro, Esper Abrão [UNIFESP]
Naffah-Mazzacoratti, Maria da Graca [UNIFESP]
Amado, Debora [UNIFESP]
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We investigated the effects of exposure to maternal convulsive seizures in utero on the behavior of offspring. An epilepsy model was induced in female rats by administration of pilocarpine. Seizure frequency was evaluated for 60 days. the rats were then allowed to mate, and seizure frequency during pregnancy was recorded and compared with prepregnancy frequency. After birth, placentas of mothers were submitted for histopathological analysis. the behavior of the offspring was evaluated 3 months after birth. There was a decline in seizure frequency even though the placentas from epileptic mothers showed areas of ischemic infarction indicative of fetal hypoxia. Offspring of epileptic mothers manifested deficits in motor coordination in the rotarod test and increased immobility in the open-field test. No changes in anxiety and depression-like behaviors were observed. These results suggest that in utero exposure to maternal seizures can produce motor deficits in adult life, perhaps as a result of fetal hypoxia. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Epilepsy & Behavior. San Diego: Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science, v. 18, n. 1-2, p. 45-49, 2010.