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Consequences of Prenatal Exposure to Diazepam on the Respiratory Parameters, Respiratory Network Activity and Gene Expression of α1 and α2 Subunits of GABAA Receptor in Newborn Rat

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Integration in Respiratory Control

Diazepam (DZP) enhances GABA action at GABAA receptor. Chronic prenatal administration of DZP delays the appearance of neonatal reflexes. We examined whether maternal intake of DZP might affect respiratory control system in newborn rats (0–3 day-old). This study was conducted on unrestrained animals and medullaspinal cord preparations. In addition, the level of expression of the genes encoding for the α1 and α2 subunits of the GABAA receptor was assessed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. In rats exposed to DZP, the respiratory frequency was significantly lower and the tidal volume higher than in controls with no significant alteration of the minute ventilation. The recovery from moderate hypoxia was delayed compared to controls. The respiratory-like frequency of medullary spinal cord preparation from DZP-exposed neonates was higher than in the control group. Acute applications of DZP (1 μM) to these preparations increased respiratory-like frequency in both groups, but this facilitation was attenuated following prenatal DZP exposure. The present data indicate that prenatal exposure to DZP alters both eupneic breathing and the respiratory response to hypoxia.

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Picard, N., Guenin, S., Perrin, Y., Hilaire, G., Larnicol, N. (2008). Consequences of Prenatal Exposure to Diazepam on the Respiratory Parameters, Respiratory Network Activity and Gene Expression of α1 and α2 Subunits of GABAA Receptor in Newborn Rat. In: Poulin, M.J., Wilson, R.J.A. (eds) Integration in Respiratory Control. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol 605. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-73693-8_25

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