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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biochemistry - Neuroscience - Obstetrics

Lack of Evidence for Neonatal Misoprostol Neurodevelopmental Toxicity in C57BL6/J Mice
Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Author: Claire M. Koenig et al.

by Claire M. Koenig, Cheryl K. Walker, Lihong Qi, Isaac N. Pessah, Robert F. Berman

Misoprostol is a synthetic analogue of prostaglandin E1 that is administered to women at high doses to induce uterine contractions for early pregnancy termination and at low doses to aid in cervical priming during labor. Because of the known teratogenic effects of misoprostol when given during gestation and its effects on axonal growth in vitro, we examined misoprostol for its potential as a neurodevelopmental toxicant when administered to neonatal C57BL6/J mice. Mice were injected subcutaneously (s.c.) with 0.4, 4 or 40 µg/kg misoprostol on postnatal day 7, the approximate developmental stage in mice of human birth, after which neonatal somatic growth, and sensory and motor system development were assessed. These doses were selected to span the range of human exposure used to induce labor. In addition, adult mice underwent a battery of behavioral tests relevant to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism including tests for anxiety, stereotyped behaviors, social communication and interactions, and learning and memory. No significant effects of exposure were found for any measure of development or behavioral endpoints. In conclusion, the results of the present study in C57BL/6J mice do not provide support for neurodevelopmental toxicity after misoprostol administration approximating human doses and timed to coincide with the developmental stage of human birth.