The effect of haloperidol on maternal behavior in WAG/Rij rats and its consequences in the offspring
Haloperidol treatment during pre- and post-natal period affects maternal behavior and this may have long-term effects on the offspring. We examined whether early haloperidol administration to Wistar-Albino-Glaxo dams from Rijswijk (WAG/Rij) and in Wistar control rats would affect maternal care and as a consequence, seizure susceptibility and behavior in the WAG/ Rij's offspring at 3-4 months of age. Nursing dams of this well-validated genetic animal model of absence epilepsy and control dams were injected with haloperidol or saline at PPD 1 to 6. Maternal behavior was evaluated at PPD 7 to 9. Haloperidol-injected WAG/Rij dams showed more pup carryings compared with saline-injected mothers, this effect was not noticed in control Wistar dams. The offspring of haloperidol-treated WAG/Rij dams, tested during adulthood, showed heightened behavioral activity (time spent into the open arms, head dips) in the elevated plus-maze, as well as shorter spike- wave discharges (SWD) as measured in their electroencephalographs activity compared with saline-treated rats. Overall, it can be concluded that deviancies in the DA system as induced by haloperidol facilitates pup carrying/retrieval behavior in WAG/Rij rats and reduces seizure activity of the offspring in adulthood. Therefore, inter-individual differences in seizure properties and behavior in genetically predisposed animals may be due to differences in maternal behavior of the dams.
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- Department of Human and Animal Physiology, Biological Faculty, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation
- Donders Centre for Cognition, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
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