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Cadernos de Pós-Graduação em Distúrbios do Desenvolvimento

Print version ISSN 1519-0307On-line version ISSN 1809-4139


CAMARGO, Esther Lopes Ricci Adari; ZACCARELLI-MAGALHAES, Julia; FUKUSHIMA, André Rinaldi  and  SPINOSA, Helenice de Souza. Developmental toxicology: a review of maternal behavioral aspects in mammals. Cad. Pós-Grad. Distúrb. Desenvolv. [online]. 2017, vol.17, n.1, pp. 08-25. ISSN 1519-0307.

Developmental toxicology is a science that studies the adverse effects that occur in developing organisms, exposed to different chemical agents before conception, during prenatal and postnatal development until puberty. Recently, the study of maternal behavior in the context of developmental toxicology has gained interest, since the care of mammal's neonate can have a great impact on their development. Thus, this review aimed to elucidate maternal behavior and its importance for the development of the mental and physical health of offspring, as well as the deleterious consequences of maternal neglect and its interrelationship with developmental toxicology, focusing on aspects of maternal behavior toxicity in rodents, as they are the first choice in preclinical toxicity studies. For this purpose, a bibliographic survey was carried out in books, periodicals and theses obtained from the PubMed, Scopus and ScienceDirect databases between 1966 and 2017. Selected papers showed that maternal behavior is fundamental for the development of rodent offspring. Therefore, changes in the mother-infant bond may generate permanent social disturbances in the offspring, evidencing the importance of behavioral studies. These studies also showed the importance of endocrine and neurochemical regulation in the manifestation of maternal behavior, especially the neurotransmitter dopamine, since it controls the synthesis and secretion of prolactin, a hormone that acts in the manifestation of the mother-child bond necessary to awaken the mother's care in offspring development. Another relevant aspect is that substances such as pesticides and drugs, when present in the gestational period, can lead to permanent modifications to future generations.

Keywords : Developmental Toxicology; Teratology; Reproductive Toxicology; Maternal Behavior.

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