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Open AccessArticle

Neuroprotective Role of N-acetylcysteine against Learning Deficits and Altered Brain Neurotransmitters in Rat Pups Subjected to Prenatal Stress

1
Department of Physiology, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education; Manipal 576104, India
2
Pharmacology, RAL College of Medical Sciences, Ras al-Khaimah Medical and Health Sciences University, Ras Al-Khaimah 11172, UAE
3
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait City 13060, Kuwait
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(7), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8070120
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 16 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
Prenatal adversaries like stress are known to harm the progeny and oxidative stress, which is known to be one of the causative factors. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), which is a potent antioxidant, has been shown to play a neuroprotective role in humans and experimental animals. This study examines the benefits of NAC on the prenatal stress-induced learning and memory deficits and alteration in brain neurotransmitter in rat pups. Pregnant dams were restrained (45 min; 3 times/day) during the early or late gestational period. Other groups received early or late gestational restrain stress combined with NAC treatment throughout the gestational period. At postnatal day (PND) 28, offspring were tested in a shuttle box for assessing learning and memory, which was followed by a brain neurotransmitter (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) estimation on PND 36. Late gestational stress resulted in learning deficits, the inability to retain the memory, and reduced brain dopamine content while not affecting norepinephrine and serotonin. NAC treatment in prenatally stressed rats reversed learning and memory deficits as well as brain dopamine content in offspring. These findings suggest that NAC protect the progeny from an undesirable cognitive sequel associated with prenatal stress. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain neurotransmitters; N-acetylcysteine; learning and memory; prenatal stress brain neurotransmitters; N-acetylcysteine; learning and memory; prenatal stress
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Bernhardt, L.K.; Bairy, K.L.; Madhyastha, S. Neuroprotective Role of N-acetylcysteine against Learning Deficits and Altered Brain Neurotransmitters in Rat Pups Subjected to Prenatal Stress. Brain Sci. 2018, 8, 120.

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