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eISSN: 1643-3750

Effect of ethanol and phenytoin applied jointly in pregnant rats on behaviour of their offspring

Ryszard Szkilnik, Wiesława Felińska, Maria Głowacka, Ryszard Brus

Med Sci Monit 1996; 2(4): BR408-414

ID: 499905

Available online: 1996-07-01

Published: 1996-07-01

Ethanol and phenytoin ingested in pregnancy may result in long-term adverse effects in offspring termed as "fetal alcohol syndrome" or "fetal hydantoin syndrome" respectively. Particularly vulnerable is the developing central nervous system (CNS). The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of ethanol (oral 10% solution taken freely) and phenytoin (2 and 10 mg/kg s.c.), administered separately and in combination in pregnant rats, on the CNS in their offspring as evaluated with different behavioural methods. The tests have shown an impaired CNS function in 6-week and 3-month old male offspring of mothers given ethanol and phenytoin during pregnancy as compared to that in control animals. Ethanol and phenytoin administered in combination during pregnancy decrease adverse effects observed in animals receiving the compounds separately in the prenatal period. This might be explained by mutual induction of metabolising enzymes due to which smaller amounts of the substances pass across the placenta into the foetus.

Keywords: phenytoin, Ethanol, offspring, behaviour effect