International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences

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Effects of maternal dexamethasone exposure on hematological indices in the male offspring

SO Jeje, Y Raji


Maternal treatment with dexamethasone in threatening preterm delivery leads to high basal corticosterone level in the offspring. Excess  glucocorticoids may inhibit the production of interleukin. This study examined the effects of prenatal and lactational dexamethasone exposure on hematological parameter in male offspring. The rats were divided into 9 groups. Group1 was administered 0.02 ml/100gbw/day normal saline throughout pregnancy. Group 2, 3, 4 and 5 were administered 100 ìg/kgbw/day dexamethasone through gestation day (GD) 1-7, 8-14, 15-21 and 1-21 respectively. Group 6 was administered 0.02 ml/100gbw/day normal saline at Lactational day (LD) 1-21. Group 7, 8 and 9 were  administered 100 ìg/kgbw/day dexamethasone at LD 1-7, 1-14 and 1-21 respectively. The male offspring were sacrificed at 12 weeks of age for the evaluation of hematological indices. Results show that dexamethasone exposure at GD 1-7, 8-14 and 1-21 significantly (P<0.05) reduced PCV, hemoglobin concentration, RBC, platelet and neutrophil differential counts, raised eosinophil differential count relative to control. Exposure to  dexamethasone at LD 1-14 and 1-21 significantly (P<0.05) reduced RBC and platelet counts but it raised MCV and MCH relative to control. This study suggests that prenatal and lactational dexamethasone   administration may affect the hematological indices in the male offspring.

Keywords: Dexamethasone, prenatal, lactational, hematological indices, fetal, corticosterone.
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