Effects of perinatal fluoxetine exposure on novelty-induced social and non-social investigation behaviors in a seminatural environment
AuthorSylte, Ole Christian; Johansen, Jesper Solheim; Heinla, Indrek; Houwing, Danielle; Olivier, Jocelien D.A.; Heijkoop, Roy; Snoeren, Eelke
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are increasingly prescribed as medication for various afective disorders during pregnancy. SSRIs cross the placenta and afect serotonergic neurotransmission in the fetus, but the neurobehavioral consequences for the ofspring remain largely unclear. Recent rodent research has linked perinatal SSRI exposure to alterations in both social and non-social aspects of behavior. However, this research has mainly focused on behavior within simplifed environments. The current study investigates the efects of perinatal SSRI exposure on social and non-social investigation behaviors of adult rat ofspring upon introduction to a novel seminatural environment with unknown conspecifcs. During the perinatal period (gestational day 1 until postnatal day 21), rat dams received daily treatment with either an SSRI (fuoxetine, 10 mg/kg) or vehicle. Adult male and female ofspring were observed within the frst hour after introduction to a seminatural environment. The results showed that perinatal fuoxetine exposure altered aspects of non-social investigation behaviors, while not altering social investigation behaviors. More specifcally, both fuoxetine-exposed males and females spent more total time on locomotor activity than controls. Furthermore, fuoxetine-exposed females spent less time exploring objects and specifc elements in the environment. The data suggest that perinatal exposure to SSRIs leads to a quicker, less detailed investigation strategy in novel environments and that the alteration is mostly pronounced in females.