Despite the widespread use of oxytocin for induction of labor, mechanistic insights into fetal/neonatal wellbeing are lacking because of the absence of an animal model that recapitulates modern obstetric practice. Here, we create and validate a hi-fidelity pregnant rat model that mirrors labor induction with oxytocin in laboring women. The model consists of an implantable preprogrammed microprocessor-controlled infusion pump that delivers a gradually escalating dose of intravenous oxytocin to induce birth at term gestation. We validated the model with molecular biological experiments on the uterine myometrium and telemetry-supported assessment of changes in intrauterine pressure. Finally, we applied this model to test the hypothesis that labor induction with oxytocin would be associated with oxidative stress in the newborn brain. Analysis of biomarkers of oxidative stress and changes in the expression of associated genes were no different between oxytocin-exposed and saline-treated pups, suggesting that oxytocin-induced labor was not associated with oxidative stress in the developing brain. Collectively, we provide a viable and realistic animal model for labor induction and augmentation with oxytocin that would enable new lines of investigation related to the impact of perinatal oxytocin exposure on the mother-infant dyad.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3143
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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