The effects of paralysis and oligohydramnios on morphological and behavioral characteristics of the rat fetus in utero Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/sf268740h

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  • Two experiments were conducted to assess the effects of paralysis and oligohydramnios on the development of the rat fetus. Behavior was suppressed in utero by subcutaneous injections of curare or puncture of the amniotic membrane leading to oligohydramnios. In Experiment 1, fetuses were treated with curare, oligohydramnios, both, or a saline solution on days 18, 19, and 20 of gestation. On Day 21 females were sacrificed and representative anatomical features of the subject fetuses were measured. In Experiment 2, fetuses were treated with curare, oligohydramnios, both, or a saline solution on Day 18. On Day 20 the females were surgically prepared for observation of the fetuses, and the behavior of each subject fetus was reported to assess long term effects of the experimental treatments. Although there were a number of anatomical anomalies observed in Experiment 1, including lower body weight, multiple congenital contractures, and skin tightness, none of these features showed statistical significance between experimental groups and a control group. However, one variable, amniotic fluid volume, differed significantly between experimental treatments and controls. These findings provide confirmation of some of the claims found in earlier research. Results in Experiment 2 show a similar direction. Although no significant anatomical differences were found, fetuses in experimental groups presented contractures after only one day of treatment, and body weight was below expected for this developmental age. Behavioral effects were evident for stretch and head movements in the experimental groups. Overall, the activity of groups treated with oligohydramnios, either alone or combined with curare, was reduced as compared with controls. The general results of this study suggest that arresting fetal behavior at some point in development can have lasting effects on fetal anatomy, and cause certain birth defects.
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