Effects of Methcathinone Exposure during Prenatal and Lactational Periods on the Development and the Learning and Memory Abilities of Rat Offspring.


Department of Forensic Medicine, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430030, China. [Email]


This study aimed to investigate the effects of prenatal and lactational methcathinone exposure on the development and the learning and memory abilities of rat offspring using a Sprague-Dawley rat model. Pregnant and lactating rats were administered a consecutive daily dose of methcathinone (0.37 mg/kg) or an equivalent volume of saline by injection on gestational days 7-20 and postnatal days 2-15, respectively. The physical development and neurobehavioral test results of rat pups were recorded throughout the lactation period. Morris water maze (MWM) and novel object recognition (NOR) tests were performed from postnatal day 35 to day 42 to assess the learning and memory abilities of rat offspring in adolescence. The occurrence of hair growth and developments in neurological reflexes, such as improvements in limb grasp, righting reflex, and gait, were delayed in pups after perinatal methcathinone exposure compared with that in the control. Results from MWM and NOR tests indicate that perinatal methcathinone exposure induced deficits in spatial memory, learning ability, and novel object exploration in the adolescent offspring compared with that in the control. The impairment of spatial learning and memory was greater in the prenatal exposure group, while the impairment of novel object exploration was greater in the lactational exposure group. These data show that the prenatal and lactational methcathinone exposure induced the delay of physical and neurological reflex development and impaired learning and memory in rat offspring.


Lactational exposure,Learning and memory ability,Methcathinone,Neurological development,Prenatal exposure,

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