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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neonatal dexamethasone on day 7 causes mild hyperactivity and cerebellar stunting.

To investigate the effects of glucocorticoid treatment on central nervous system development, rats were injected with dexamethasone (DEX) (1-3 mg/kg) on postnatal day (PND) 3 or 7. DNA and protein content and concentration were measured in the cerebellum and hippocampus on PND 28 and 112. Whole and regional brain weights were measured at PND 28, 84, and 112. Nest odor preference (PND 10-11), open field activity (PND 18-21), running wheel activity (PND 50-56), and complex maze performance (PND 60-63) were measured in rats treated twice with 1.5 mg/kg DEX on PND 7. DEX treatment on PND 7 resulted in reductions in PND 28 whole brain and regional weights (frontal cortex, cerebellum, and brain stem) and, by PND 112, all except whole brain and cerebellar weights had recovered. A mild syndrome of hyperactivity (increased open field rearing and activity) was apparent in rats treated with DEX on PND 7. These results are discussed in terms of the developmental stage specificity in production of brain, and, specifically, cerebellar insults and their resulting effects.[1]


  1. Neonatal dexamethasone on day 7 causes mild hyperactivity and cerebellar stunting. Ferguson, S.A., Holson, R.R. Neurotoxicology and teratology. (1999) [Pubmed]
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