Background/Aims: Fluoxetine (FLX) has been widely prescribed for depression during pregnancy and/or lactation. Since serotonin is a neurotrophic factor, the use of FLX by mothers could disrupt brain development resulting in behavioral alterations in their progeny. This study evaluated the effects of developmental FLX exposure on anxiety, depression, aggressivity and pain sensitivity of male and female mice pups. Methods: Swiss dams were treated daily, by gavage, with 7.5 mg/kg of FLX during pregnancy and lactation. Pups were submitted to open-field, forced swimming, elevated plus-maze, intruder-resident and hot plate tests at adolescence and adulthood. Results and Conclusion: In male pups, exposure to FLX decreased ambulation at postnatal day (PND) 40 and tended (p = 0.07) to increase the latency to the first attack in the intruder-resident test at PND 70, suggesting decreased impulsivity. In female pups, FLX exposure increased immobility time in the forced swimming test at both PND 30 and 70, which is interpreted as depressive-like behavior. In conclusion, our results suggest that maternal exposure to FLX during pregnancy and lactation results in enduring behavioral alterations in male and female pups throughout life.
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