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Prenatal exposure to SKF‐38393 alters the response to light of adult rats

Ferguson, Sally A.; Kennaway, David J.

Rhythms

The current study examined the consequences of prenatal SKF‐38393 exposure on the cellular response in the adult suprachiasmatic nuclei to light. Pregnant rats were injected with the dopamine agonist SKF‐38393 or vehicle daily from gestational day 15 to 21. Adult offspring received a light pulse (1 min/2 lux) 4 or 8 h after lights off (ZT16 or ZT20 where ZT = zeitgeber time). Brains were processed for c‐FOS‐like immunoreactivity in the SCN. At ZT20 the number of cells expressing c‐FOS protein after a light pulse was the same in both groups. At ZT16 the number of cells in the SCN of SKF‐38393‐exposed animals was 58% lower than the vehicle‐treated group. The data suggest that prenatal SKF‐38393 treatment may have long‐term consequences for SCN function.

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, 5005 Australia

2 Corresponding Author: David J. Kennaway

Acknowledgements: This study was supported by an Australian Research Council Large Grant to D.J.K. The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of Dr Robert Moyer and Miss Tamara Varcoe. We also thank an anonymous referee for stimulating and constructive comments.

Received 22 February 2000; accepted 2 March 2000

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