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|Title:||INFLUENCE OF MATERNAL SELECTIVE SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITOR EXPOSURE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT OF THE OFFSPRING|
|Keywords:||Serotonin;Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs);Enteric Nervous System;Enterochromaffin Cells;Development|
|Abstract:||10-15% of women take antidepressants during pregnancy. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are most commonly used for perinatal depression. Perinatal exposure to SSRIs has been shown to disrupt the development of serotonergic signaling pathways in the central nervous system (CNS); however, the effects on the developing enteric nervous system (ENS) remain relatively unexplored. We hypothesized that early life exposure to SSRIs would influence the structural development of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. We further hypothesized that these structural changes could lead to clinically relevant functional outcomes, such as modifications in susceptibility to inflammation and altered GI motility. Female Wistar rats were given the SSRI, fluoxetine, or vehicle from 2 weeks prior to mating through gestation until weaning. At postnatal day 1 (P1), postnatal day 21 (P21; weaning) and 6 months of age (P6 months) intestines were harvested to assess for structural changes. At P6M, intestines were collected to assess motility in vitro and subsets of the offspring were treated with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to assess susceptibility to colitis. At P1, there was a significant decrease in serotonergic neurons in the female colon. At P21, there was a significant increase in serotonergic neurons of both sexes in the colon. At P6M, there was a significant increase in the frequency and velocity of long-distance contractions in the colon when both sexes were combined and an increase in ZO-1 in male colon. In conclusion, SSRI exposure in utero appears to have structural and functional consequences on the developing ENS in the SSRI exposed offspring. The structural consequences are seen in both sexes at P21 and although the structural changes to the ENS resolve by 6 months, motility in the colon continues to be significantly altered. There were no significant differences in chemical colitis, however, we did see difference of quantitative mRNA cytokines, chemokines and extracellular matrix components which may suggest differences in mucosal immune response. The mechanisms by which these changes occur remain to be explored.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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