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Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia

Print version ISSN 0102-695X


OLIVEIRA, Carolina Dizioli Rodrigues de; MOREIRA, Camila Queiroz; SPINOSA, Helenice de Souza  and  YONAMINE, Mauricio. Neurobehavioral, reflexological and physical development of Wistar rat offspring exposed to ayahuasca during pregnancy and lactation. Rev. bras. farmacogn. [online]. 2011, vol.21, n.6, pp.1065-1076.  Epub Sep 16, 2011. ISSN 0102-695X.

Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic beverage prepared by the decoction of plants native to the Amazon Basin region. The beverage has been used throughout the world by members of some syncretic religious movements. Despite the recent legalization of ayahuasca in Brazil for religious purposes, there is little pre-clinical and clinical information attesting to its safety, particularly in relation to the use during pregnancy. The aim of the current work was to determine the effects of perinatal exposure to ayahuasca (from the 6th day of pregnancy to the 10th day of lactation) on physical, reflexology and neurobehavioral parameters of the Wistar rat offspring. The offspring showed no statistically significant changes in the physical and reflexology parameters evaluated. However, in adult rats, perinatally exposed to ayahuasca, an increase in frequency of entries in open arms in elevated plus-maze test, a decrease in total time of interaction in social interaction test, a decrease in time of latency for the animal to start swimming and a decrease of the minimum convulsant dose induced by pentylenetetrazol were observed. In conclusion, our results showed that the use of ayahuasca by mothers during pregnancy and lactation reduced the general anxiety and social motivation of the rat offspring. Besides, it promoted a higher sensitivity for initiation and spread of seizure activity.

Keywords : ayahuasca; pregnancy; rat offspring; neurobehavioral changes.

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