Scorpion evenomation of lactating rats decreases the seizure threshold in offspring

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Few data are available in the literature describing the long-term effects of envenoming in the perinatal period. In this study, the relationship between envenoming of lactating rats and possible behavioral changes in the mother and in her offspring were investigated. Lactating Wistar rats received a single dose of T. serrulatus crude venom on postnatal days 2 (V2), 10 (V10) or 16 (V16), and had their maternal behavior evaluated. The seizure threshold was evaluated in adulthood offspring. A decrease in maternal care during envenoming was observed in V2 and V10 groups. The retrieval behavior was absent in the V2 group, and a lower seizure threshold in the adult offspring of all groups was observed. During envenoming, mothers stayed away from their offspring for a relatively long time. Maternal deprivation during the early postnatal period is one of the most potent stressors for pups and could be responsible, at least in part, for the decrease in the convulsive threshold of the offspring since stress is pointed to as a risk factor for epileptogenesis. Furthermore, the scorpionic accident generates an intense immune response, and inflammation in neonates increases the susceptibility to seizures in adulthood. Therefore, maternal envenoming during lactation can have adverse effects on offspring in adulthood.
Barbosa MOR, Paulo MEFV, Nencioni ALA. Scorpion evenomation of lactating rats decreases the seizure threshold in offspring. Toxins. 2021 Nov;13(12):853. doi:10.3390/toxins13120853.
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