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RODRIGUEZ, Nancy; MAYER, Nora  and  GAUNA, Héctor F. Effects of prenatal stress on male offspring sexual maturity. Biocell [online]. 2007, vol.31, n.1, pp.67-74. ISSN 0327-9545.

Prenatal stimulations have been shown to have long-term effects on at reproductive activity. We evaluated the influence of the prenatal stress on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis in male off­springs from mothers with high number of offsprings per litter (HNL) and low number of offsprings per litter (LNL) after hypothesizing that the number of offsprings per litter may modify the effect of the prenatal stress on the HPG of adult offsprings. Pregnant Wistar rats were used for this study. Immobilization (IMO) stress was used, 30 min, 3 times per week, from the 5th to 21st day of pregnancy. The weight of adrenal and gonads, and the corticosterone (COR), testosterone (TES) and luteinizing hormone (LH) plasmatic levels were analyzed in the male offspring at 30, 45 and 70 days of age. The offspring males coming from LNL showed a decrease in testicle weight and TES levels, without changes in the plasmatic LH levels. However, the offspring of HNL showed a decrease of LH levels. It is possible to conclude that in LNL prenatal stress would produce alterations to gonadal level, while in HNL the effect of stress would be evident at pituitary level.

Keywords : Rats; Prenatal stress; Reproduction; Corticosterone; Testosterone.

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