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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X


DEIRO, T.C.B.J. et al. Neonatal administration of citalopram delays somatic maturation in rats. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2004, vol.37, n.10, pp.1503-1509. ISSN 1414-431X.

We investigated the somatic maturation of neonate rats treated during the suckling period with citalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Groups with 6 male neonates were randomly assigned to different treatments 24 h after birth. Each litter was suckled by one of the dams until the 21st postnatal day. Body weight, head axis and tail length were measured daily from the 1st to the 21st postnatal day. Time of ear unfolding, auditory conduit opening, incisor eruption, and eye opening was determined. Pups received 5 mg (Cit5), 10 mg (Cit10) or 20 mg/kg (Cit20) citalopram sc, or saline (0.9% NaCl, w/v, sc). Compared to saline, body weight was lower (24.04%, P < 0.01) for Cit10 from the 10th to the 21st day and for Cit20 from the 6th to the 21st day (38.19%, P < 0.01). Tail length was reduced in the Cit20 group (15.48%, P < 0.001) from the 8th to the 21st day. A reduction in mediolateral head axis (10.53%, P < 0.05) was observed from the 11th to the 21st day in Cit10 and from the 6th to the 21st day in Cit20 (13.16%, P < 0.001). A reduction in anteroposterior head axis was also observed in the Cit20 group (5.28%, P < 0.05) from the 13th to the 21st day. Conversely, this axis showed accelerated growth from the 12th to the 21st day in the Cit5 group (13.05%, P < 0.05). Auditory conduit opening was delayed in the Cit5 and Cit20 groups and incisor eruption was delayed in all citalopram groups. These findings show that citalopram injected during suckling to rats induces body alterations and suggest that the activity of the serotoninergic system participates in growth mechanisms.

Keywords : Serotonin; Growth indicators; Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor; Citalopram; Craniofacial; Skull.

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