Factors Influencing the Effects of Drugs Administered during Development on Adult Behavior

  • C. O. Rutledge
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 8)


Studies on the effects of drugs administered during development on the subsequent behavior of the adult animal were given new direction about 10 years ago with a series of investigations by Werboff and his colleagues (Werboff et al., 1961; Werboff and Dembicki, 1962; Werboff and Havlena, 1962; Werboff and Kesner, 1963). In one of these studies (Werboff and Havlena, 1962) pregnant rats were treated chronically with either reserpine, meprobamate or chlorpromazine. After the offspring had matured, their behavior was compared to the behavior of offspring of untreated rats. It was found that there was motor impairment in the offspring of treated rats: their ability to move up an inclined plane was impaired. It was also observed that motor activity, as measured in an open field test, was reduced in offspring of treated animals. Although these studies have been criticized for inadequate control of postnatal rearing effects (see Joffe, 1969), they serve to illustrate the numerous variables which must be controlled before one can interpret the effects of a drug given during development on the subsequent behavior of the adult. These variables have been described in detail by Joffe (1969) and Kornetsky (1970).


Open Field Test Incline Plane Prenatal Stress Subsequent Behavior Conditioned Avoidance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. O. Rutledge
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineDenverUSA

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