Gestational exposure to paracetamol in rats induces neurofunctional alterations in the progeny.
Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2019 Oct 20 ;77:106838. Epub 2019 Oct 20. PMID: 31644948
Rodrigo Moreno Klein
Paracetamol (PAR) is an over-the-counter medicine used as analgesic or antipyretic by 40-50% of the pregnant women in different countries. Epidemiologic studies have been associating maternal use of PAR with neurodevelopmental disruption and special attention has been given to its potential to increase the odds for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactive disorder and autism spectrum disorder. Population-based research do not allow the establishment of causal relationships because variable control is weak. We aimed to evaluate the potential of PAR to induce developmental neurotoxicity in rats. Pregnant Wistar rats were gavaged with PAR (350 mg/kg/day) or water from gestational day 6 until delivery. General toxicity endpoints included dams' body weight and food intake as well as pups' body weight until weaning. Behavioral evaluation occurred at post-natal days 10 (nest seeking test), 27 (behavioral stereotypy), 28 (three chamber sociability test and open field) and 29 (hot plate and elevated plus-maze). Moreover, lipid hidroperoxide (LOOH), reduced glutathione (GSH) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels were quantified in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of 22-days-old rats. Gestational exposure to PAR impaired nest seeking behavior, augmented apomorphine-induced behavioral stereotypy and decreased rostral grooming in the elevated plus maze. Exposed female pups presented elevated vertical exploration in the open field test. No alterations were observed in LOOH, GSH or BDNF levels in the prefrontal cortex orhippocampus. Exposure regimen did not affect general toxicity parameters or pups' behavior in the hot plate and sociability tests. These data suggest PAR as a developmental neurotoxicant. Observed alterations may be relevant for neurodevelopmental disorders.