Document Detail

Effects of prenatal dexamethasone treatment on physical growth, pituitary-adrenal hormones, and performance of motor, motivational, and cognitive tasks in juvenile and adolescent common marmoset monkeys.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18755792     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Synthetic glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone (DEX) are commonly used to prevent respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants, but there is emerging evidence of subsequent neurobehavioral abnormalities (e.g. problems with inattention/hyperactivity). In the present study, we exposed pregnant common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus, primates) to daily repeated DEX (5 mg/kg by mouth) during either early (d 42-48) or late (d 90-96) pregnancy (gestation period of 144 days). Relative to control, and with a longitudinal design, we investigated DEX effects in offspring in terms of physical growth, plasma ACTH and cortisol titers, social and maintenance behaviors, skilled motor reaching, motivation for palatable reward, and learning between infancy and adolescence. Early DEX resulted in reduced sociability in infants and increased motivation for palatable reward in adolescents. Late DEX resulted in a mild transient increase in knee-heel length in infants and enhanced reversal learning of stimulus-reward association in adolescents. There was no effect of either early or late DEX on basal plasma ACTH or cortisol titers. Both treatments resulted in impaired skilled motor reaching in juveniles, which attenuated in early DEX but persisted in late DEX across test sessions. The increased palatable-reward motivation and decreased social motivation observed in early DEX subjects provide experimental support for the clinical reports that prenatal glucocorticoid treatment impairs social development and predisposes to metabolic syndrome. These novel primate findings indicate that fetal glucocorticoid overexposure can lead to abnormal development of motor, affective, and cognitive behaviors. Importantly, the outcome is highly dependent upon the timing of glucocorticoid overexposure.
Jonas Hauser; Alana Knapman; Nicole R Zürcher; Sonia Pilloud; Claudia Maier; Rochellys Diaz-Heijtz; Hans Forssberg; Andrea Dettling; Joram Feldon; Christopher R Pryce
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-08-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Endocrinology     Volume:  149     ISSN:  0013-7227     ISO Abbreviation:  Endocrinology     Publication Date:  2008 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-11-21     Completed Date:  2009-03-31     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375040     Medline TA:  Endocrinology     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  6343-55     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Behavioural Neurobiology Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Schorenstrasse 16, CH-8603 Schwerzenbach, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
Adrenal Glands / drug effects*,  metabolism
Animals, Newborn
Cognition / drug effects
Dexamethasone / toxicity*
Glucocorticoids / toxicity
Motor Activity / drug effects
Pituitary Hormones / metabolism*
Pituitary-Adrenal System / drug effects
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / chemically induced,  physiopathology*
Stress, Psychological / chemically induced,  physiopathology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Glucocorticoids; 0/Pituitary Hormones; 50-02-2/Dexamethasone

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