Maternal anesthesia via isoflurane or ether differentially affects pre-and postnatal behavior in rat offspring

April E. Ronca, Regina A. Abel, Jeffrey R. Alberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our understanding of prenatal behavior has been significantly advanced by techniques for direct observation and manipulation of unanesthetized, behaving rodent fetuses with intact umbilical connections to the mother. These techniques involve brief administration of an inhalant anesthesic, enabling spinal transection of the rat or mouse dam, after which procedures can continue with unanesthetized dams and fetuses. Because anesthetics administered to the mother can cross the placental barrier, it is possible that fetuses are anesthetized to varying degrees. We compared in perinatal rats the effects of prenatal maternal exposure to two inhalant anesthetics: ether and isoflurane. Fewer spontaneous fetal movements and first postpartum nipple attachments were observed following maternal exposure to ether as compared to isoflurane. Neonatal breathing frequencies and oxygenation did not account for group differences in nipple attachment. Our results provide evidence that the particular inhalant anesthetic employed in prenatal manipulation studies determines frequencies of perinatal behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-684
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Volume49
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Ether
  • Fetal
  • Isoflurane
  • Labor contractions
  • Newborn
  • Perinatal

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