Prenatal exposure of diclofenac sodium alters the behavioral development of young Wistar rats.
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Diclofenac sodium (DS), a potent inhibitor of cyclooxygenase, reduces the release of arachidonic acid and formation of prostaglandins. Being a nonsteroid drug that shows antiinflammatory action, the possible side effects of fetal DS administration gain importance in public and medical applications. Herein, the effects of DS administration (1 mg/kg) during gestational days 5–20 were investigated on the performance of Wistar rat pups in a variety of behavioral tasks. Four-week-old pups were subjected to sensory motor tests, a plus maze, an open field, the Morris water maze, and a radial arm maze. Fetal DS disrupted some sensory motor performances, such as visual placing and climbing in both females and males. In the open field, DS females had a higher level of anxiety and male DS pups habituated to the environment slowly compared to controls. The DS pups showed slower rates of learning, whereas no substantial between-group differences were found in the performance of spatial memory compared to both controls. Furthermore, working memory was negatively affected by fetal DS. In conclusion, it was indicated that DS administration during pregnancy had slight behavioral impacts with a delay in learning and a defect in the short-term memory in juvenile rats.
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