Histological evaluation of the prefrontal cortex of infantile Wistar rats exposed to nicotine during the embryonic period
Exposure to nicotine in utero is neuroteratogenic, predisposing the developing brain to cell injury and many forms of neurological and neurobehavioural problems that persist after birth. The current study examined some of the histological effects of prenatal nicotine exposure on the prefrontal cortex of infantile rats. Primiparous Wistar rats were mated, and pregnancy was confirmed. A daily dose of 0.03 mg/kg of nicotine was administered intra-peritoneally to each treated rat for five consecutive days during their first two weeks of gestation. The rate of development and maturation of brain cells was reduced, as well as a reduction in the population of cells, though no apparent reduction of brain weight or morphological changes was noticed.
Keywords: prenatal nicotine, prefrontal cortex, infantile rats