Stress during first pregnancy increases seizure threshold in adult male offspring

Document Type : Original Article


1 Azad Islamic University-Damghan Branch, Damghan, Iran

2 School of Biology, Damghan University, Damghan, Iran 3 Institute of Biological Sciences, Damghan University, Damghan, Iran



Stress induces many homeostatic aberrations which are followed by lifelong allostatic responses. Epilepsy is developed or influenced by different environmental factors, i.e. prenatal stress which makes many contradictory developmental changes in seizure threshold and intensity. We investigated the potential seizure response of the rat offspring to prenatal stress; the stress which was applied to their mothers.
Materials and Methods:
Nine day heterogeneous sequential stress (HSS) model was used before and during the first and before the second pregnancy. The kindling was induced using 13 IP injections of pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) every 48 hr to adult male Wistar rat's offspring.
The results of the present study demonstrated that, before pregnancy stress decreased the rate of kindling (P<0.05) in the offspring, while stress which was applied during pregnancy completely prevented kindling (P <0.001). Further, their convulsive latency was increased and tonic clonic seizure duration was decreased. In contrast, previous pregnancy and between pregnancies stress could not change kindling process. Although maternal separation stress did not change kindling development, it could increase convulsive intensities by elongating the duration of seizures (P<0.05) and reducing convulsion latency (P
It is concluded that stress detrimental effects could be prevented by stress which was applied around first pregnancy; however this beneficial effect is weakened by before second pregnancy stress.


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