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Developmental consequences of intra-uterine exposure to diazepam: impact on the ventilatory system of newborns rats

Grant number: 17/26367-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2018
Effective date (End): August 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Luciane Helena Gargaglioni Batalhão
Grantee:Carlos Aparecido da Silva Junior
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):19/07635-8 - Characterization of electrical and synaptic properties of Dbx1 interneurons at adult stages of development, BE.EP.MS


Gestation is a critical period for the development of the respiratory system and interventions, such as the use of benzodiazepines (BZs) for treatment of psychic disorders, at this stage, may compromise this system. BZs bind at GABAA receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) by increasing the permeability of chloride (Cl-) channels. The GABAergic system plays a critical role in modulating the activity of respiratory neurons and is considered the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult animal, but plays a different role during early development, acting primarily as an excitatory neurotransmitter. Exposure to BZs during the prenatal period in rats may lead to anatomic-functional changes in the respiratory system; however, there is a lack of studies to prove the real harm to the fetus, the newborn as well as to the to the detriment of its suspension, which could aggravate disorders and other problems of a psychological nature. Based on these evidences, this project proposes to investigate the effects of diazepam (DZ) on the ventilation of rats in the postnatal period, at the ages P0, P12 and P21, as well as the neuroanatomical and physiological modifications of neurons of nuclei such as Locus coeruleus and of the medullary raphe that participate in the control of respiration. In addition, this study will verify whether the use of BZs during pregnancy may preclude the jaw opening and righting reflex. (AU)

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