Second generation effects of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy in rats

Mary K P Lam, Judith Homewood*, Alan J. Taylor, Evalynn J. Mazurski

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    1. Previous studies have shown that when female rats are administered alcohol during pregnancy there are adverse effects on their progeny, including decreased birth weight and delayed neuromotor development. Evidence from several sources suggests alcohol exposure may contribute to cytogenetic abnormalities, suggesting the possibility of cross generational effects from prenatal exposure. 2. On day 1 of gestation female rats were randomly allocated to the Alcohol group, which received a liquid diet containing 5% (v/v) ethanol solution until parturition, the Sucrose control group, which received an identical diet, except that sucrose had been isocalorically substituted for ethanol, or the Chow control, which received standard laboratory chow. 3. When the offspring of these rats reached adulthood they were mated with drug-free rats and the development of their offspring was monitored. 4. In comparison with female pups whose sires had been exposed to alcohol in utero, the weight of pups descended from fetally-exposed dams increased more slowly from day 1 to day 7. 5. At five days of age, significant differences favouring the two control groups were found in latency to right for pups descended from fetally-exposed dams. 6. These data suggest that the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol are more pervasive than previously thought and affect female pups to a greater extent than males.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)619-631
    Number of pages13
    JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - May 2000


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