Background: In utero exposure to Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) is considered as a risk factor for
many neurodevelopmental diseases.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether prenatal SSRI exposure changes newborn brain chemistry.
Method: An animal based study was designed in which utero SSRI exposed rat’s pups were compared to one without drug
exposure. Neurochemical changes of the infants were assessed after 2 days of birth by estimating the levels of inflammatory
cytokines, neurotransmitters and caspases in the brain exposed to SSRI at prenatal stage and compared to normal unexposed
Results: Our results showed significant neurochemical changes in SSRI-exposed newborns. A significant decrease in dopamine, and serotonin levels; with a remarkable decrease in noradrenaline in addition to remarkable increase of IFN-γ and
caspase-3 levels was observed in the brain tissues of prenatal exposed SSRIs rat pups.
Conclusion: The results suggest that prenatal SSRI treatment may affect brain development of newborn hence should be
used warily during gestation period.