Phencyclidine-induced morphological and behavioral alterations in the neonatal rat

R. L. Jordan, T. R. Young, S. H. Dinwiddie, G. J. Harry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Phencyclidine (PCP), when administered in high dosages (>25 mg/kg IP) during various periods of mid and late gestation, was effective in producing a variety of external, visceral and skeletal malformations in the offspring of Sprague-Dawley rats. Dose levels of less than 25 mg/kg IP had little effect on reproductive parameters such as the number and position of implantations, incidence of dead and/or resorbed fetuses, viable litter size, fetal sex ratios, and birth weights. Postnatal evaluation of pups from dams treated prenatally with a non-teratogenic dose of PCP (10 mg/kg IP) revealed minor but measurable differences in several maturational and behavioral parameters. PCP treated pups demonstrated significantly depressed preweaning weight gains as well as slight but statistically insignificant delays in reaching standard maturational landmarks. However, significant differences were found in the ability of PCP treated pups, as a group, to fully develop locomotor and climbing skills. Thus, PCP in very high prenatal doses induces birth defects in a significant number of rat offspring, and, when given in structurally non-teratogenic doses, produces alterations in postnatal behavioral development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue numberSuppl.
StatePublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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