[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In utero exposure to opiates may affect autonomic functioning of the fetus and newborn. We investigated heart rate variability (HRV) as a measure of autonomic stability in prenatal opiate-exposed neonates (n = 14) and in control term infants (n = 10). Electrocardiographic data during both non-nutritive and nutritive sucking were evaluated for RR intervals, heart rate (HR), standard deviation of the consecutive RR intervals (SDRR), standard deviation of the differences of consecutive RR intervals (SDDRR), and the power spectral densities in low and high frequency bands. In controls, mean HR increased significantly, 143-161 per min (p = 0.002), with a trend toward a decrease in RR intervals from non-nutritive to nutritive sucking; these measures did not change significantly among exposed infants. Compared to controls, exposed infants demonstrated significantly greater HRV or greater mean SDRR and SDDRR during non-nutritive period (p < 0.01), greater mean SDDRR during nutritive sucking (p = 0.02), and higher powers in the low and high frequency bands during nutritive feedings. Our findings suggest that prenatal opiate exposure may be associated with changes in autonomic nervous system (ANS) functioning involving both sympathetic and parasympathetic branches. Future studies are needed to examine the effects of prenatal opiate exposure on ANS function.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxycodone (OXY) is one of the most commonly abused opiates during pregnancy. Perinatal opiate exposure (POE) is associated with neurobehavioral and hormone changes. Little is known about the effects of perinatal OXY on the cardiovascular (CV) responses to stress. Objectives: to determine the effects of POE on: (1) CV responses to acute stress and ability to discriminate using a classical conditioning paradigm; (2) changes in CV response to the paradigm and retention of the ability to discriminate from postnatal day (PD) 40 to young adulthood. Methods: Pregnant rats were given i.v. OXY or vehicle (CON) daily. OXY and CON males were fitted with BP telemetry units. Offspring were classically conditioned by following a pulsed tone (CS+) with tail shock. A steady tone (CS-) was not followed by shock. BP and HR were recorded during resting periods and conditioning. Changes in BP, HR from composite analysis were compared. The paradigm was repeated on PD 75. Results: At PD 40, OXY rats had a lower baseline mean BP (OXY: 114.8 ± 1.0 vs. CON: 118.3 ± 1.0 mm Hg; mean ± SEM) but larger amplitude of the conditional BP increase during the stress response (OXY: +3.9 ± 0.4 vs. CON: +1.7 ± 0.4 mm Hg). Both OXY and CON rats were able to discriminate between CS+ and CS-. At PD 75, the effects of OXY on the increased amplitude of the conditional BP had dissipated (CON: +3.4 ± 2.3 vs. OXY: +4.5 ± 1.4 mm Hg). BP responses to the stress and non-stress stimuli did not differ in the OXY group, suggesting that OXY may have decreased the ability of the offspring to discriminate (OXY: CS+: 147.1 ± 1.6, CS-: 145.9 ± 1.6 mm Hg vs. CON: CS+: 155.4 ± 2.7, CS-: 147.8 ± 2.7 mm Hg). Conclusion: POE is associated with subtle alterations in stress CV responses in weanling rats which dissipate when the conditioning is repeated at an early adult age. Although POE effect on the ability to discriminate at weanling age could not be detected, POE may impair retention of this ability in adulthood.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prenatal substance use is a major public health problem and a social morbidity, with consequences on the drug user and the offspring.
This review focuses on the child and adolescent outcomes following in utero drug exposure.
Studies on the effects of specific substances, legal and illegal; i.e., tobacco or nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and methamphetamine were evaluated and analyzed.
In general, manifestations of prenatal exposure to legal and illegal substances include varying deficits in birth anthropometric measurements, mild-to-moderate transient neurobehavioral alterations in infancy and long-term behavioral problems noted from early childhood to adolescence. Severity of expression of behavioral problems is influenced by environmental factors. Further, behavioral alterations following in utero drug exposure often exist with mental health co-morbidities.
Because of the long-term consequences of prenatal drug exposure on child and adolescent mental health, health providers need to promote substance use prevention, screen for exposure effects and provide or refer affected youths for intervention services. Preventive measures and treatment should consider other factors that may further increase the risk of psychopathology in the exposed children.
International journal of adolescent medicine and health 01/2012; 24(2):105-12.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous reports indicate that prenatal cocaine exposure alters specific behaviors and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) function in the offspring. In most previous studies, cocaine was given via subcutaneous injections. However intravenous administration more closely mimics human cocaine abuse during pregnancy. Therefore, we investigated the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure via intravenous injection to the mothers on open field behavior and HPA axis function of the offspring. We hypothesized that prenatal cocaine exposure decreases immobility in a novel environment, and enhances the HPA response to stress. Dams received cocaine (COC) or vehicle (control, CON) intravenously from gestation day 8 to postnatal day (PD) 5. Behaviors were recorded in the open field on PD 28 (weanlings). As expected, perinatally cocaine-exposed offspring spent less time immobile and had a longer latency to entering the center zone. No other behavioral activities were different between the groups. On PD 43-50, adolescent male and female offspring received either corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) or saline intravenously. Plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT) levels were determined before, and up to 60 min after injection. COC-exposed offspring of both sexes had higher basal CORT levels. Prenatal cocaine enhanced the CORT response to CRH/saline injections up to 60 min in males but not in females. These novel results show that perinatal administration of cocaine in a manner that most closely mimics human cocaine use has long-term effects on the offspring's behavioral response to stress and on HPA axis functions.
Brain research 11/2010; 1370:136-44. · 2.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We hypothesized that prenatal oxycodone exposure suppresses the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) response to stress in late adolescence. Dark Agouti rats were given either intravenous oxycodone or vehicle (controls, CON) daily from gestation day 8 until postnatal day (PD) 5. At PD 45, the male and female offspring received intravenously either ovine corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) or saline. Plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT) levels were determined before, and 15, 30, and 60 min after injection. Prenatal oxycodone had no effect on baseline ACTH values; CRH elicited a greater ACTH response than saline. In males, prenatal oxycodone delayed and enhanced the peak ACTH response to CRH, but had no effect in females. The CORT response to CRH was not different between oxycodone and CON; however mean CORT levels in females were significantly higher than those in males at baseline and after stimulation. These results demonstrate that prenatal oxycodone increases pituitary response to CRH in late adolescent male rats, but not in females. The absence of an enhanced adrenal response in oxycodone-exposed males suggests either desensitization or maximal adrenal response to a high CRH dose. The mechanisms of postnatal sex-specific HPA dysregulation following prenatal oxycodone remain to be elucidated.
Neurotoxicology and Teratology 01/2008; 30(2):118-24. · 3.18 Impact Factor