Serotonin (5-HT) plays a key role in early brain development, and manipulation of 5-HT levels during this period can have lasting neurobiological and behavioral consequences. It is unclear how perinatal exposure to drugs, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), impacts cortical neural network function and what mechanism(s) may elicit the disruption of normal neuronal connections/interactions. In this article, we report on cortical wiring organization after pre- and postnatal exposure to the SSRI citalopram. We show that manipulation of 5-HT during early development in both in vitro and in vivo models disturbs characteristic chemoarchitectural and electrophysiological brain features, including changes in raphe and callosal connections, sensory processing, and myelin sheath formation. Also, drug-exposed rat pups exhibit neophobia and disrupted juvenile play behavior. These findings indicate that 5-HT homeostasis is required for proper brain maturation and that fetal/infant exposure to SSRIs should be examined in humans, particularly those with developmental dysfunction, such as autism.
Full study: Perinatal antidepressant exposure alters cortical network function in rodents, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America PNAS, 13 June 2011
- AntiDepressant use during Pregnancy and Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Parental Depression, maternal #AntiDepressant during Pregnancy, Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Could a Pregnant Woman’s Exposure to Drugs alter the Brains of her GrandChildren?
- Prenatal Exposures: should you be worried?
- Gwen Olsen, The Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher
- Our posts tagged Anti-Depressants – Autism – Drugs – SSRIs