Background: Prenatal antiepileptic drug exposure could demonstrate both congenital
malformations and behavioral impairments in offspring.
Objective: This study was performed to assess the effects of prenatal exposure to pregabalin (PGB)
on pain response, anxiety, motor activity and some behavior of adult offspring rats.
Methods: Pregnant Wistar rats received PGB (7.5, 15 and 30 mg/kg/ip) during embryonic days 9.5-
15.5. The pain response, anxiety-like behaviors, locomotor activity, motor balance and coordination
and anhedonia of adult offspring were examined by tail-flick and hot plate test, open field test, elevated
plus maze (EPM), beam balance test and sucrose preference test in their 60th day of life, respectively.
Results: Prenatal exposure to PGB revealed significant dose-dependent reduction in pain sensitivity
(increase in pain latency response) in the hot plate test, especially in females, while anxiety-like behavior
assessed in EPM and open field significantly reduced in males. In the open field, locomotor
activity reduced significantly after exposure to PGB 30 mg/kg and motor coordination decreased
dose-dependently, especially in males. Anhedonia, as an indication of sucrose preference or pleasure
response, was not changed.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that prenatal PGB exposure could be associated with significant
changes in pain response, anxiety, locomotor activity and coordination in adult offspring rats.