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Year : 1996  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-24

Teratopharmacological and behavioural effects of coffee in mice

Correspondence Address:
J S Ajarem

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The possible relationship between coffee exposure during pregnancy and the teratopharmacological effects on the developing neonates was evaluated in the albino mice. The body weights of pups of treated dams were affected after birth and as the pups grew, their weight gains were lower compared to control. Such effect was more significant in both prepartum and perinatal treatment group [F(6)= 5.06, P< 0.021 than the prepartum treatment alone [F(6)= 3.12, P< 0.05]. Body hair appearance and eye opening were delayed in the treated groups and likewise, the prepartum and perinatal treatment was more effective. Almost all behavioural indices studied for 'locomotory behaviour' were affected by all doses of coffee but only in the perinatally treated groups and such effects were neither time- nor dose-dependent. In the 'tube restraint test', the latency to first bite was decreased and the number of bites was increased in male offspring. However, in female offspring, these effects were vice-versa. The body weight of these offspring remain declined even at the adult/adolescent age in the treated groups [F(6)= 9.69, P< 0.005]. The weight of male brain remained unaffected, but of females was decreased at 2 mg/kg dose only. The weight of liver and kidney of both sexes decreased only at the lower dose levels. The protein contents of these organs were also significantly affected by coffee treatment. These results suggest that coffee intake during pregnancy should be limited since it produces significant and lasting teratopharmacological and behavioural alterations in the offspring.


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