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Online Journal of Veterinary Research


Volume 22 (3):179-187, 2018.

In utero effects of sodium valproate on posterior neural tube and spinal cord in Sprague Dawley rat embryos.


Ali Akbar Moaddab MSc, Zabihollah Khaksar DVM PhD, Soghra Gholami DVM PhD.


Department of Basic Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.




Moaddab AA, Khaksar Z, Gholami S., In utero effects of sodium valproate on posterior neural tube and spinal cord in Sprague Dawley rat embryos, Onl J Vet Res., 22 (3):179-187, 2018. Potential teratogenic effects of in utero administration of a single high dose of sodium valproate (VPA) on the posterior neural tube and spinal cord in rat embryos are described. Groups of 10 time-mated Sprague Dawley dams were injected 500 mg/kg sodium valproate IP once daily from 7 to 10 days of pregnancy. Controls were given saline IP. The 10 treated and control rats were humanely sacrificed at 13 and 19 days of gestation. Offspring from VPA-treated dams had decreased (P < 0.01) fetal body weight and crown-rump length. A severe deficit in formation of the vertebral arch and posterior covering tissue was observed microscopically. The central canal was not fully closed and had a narrow fissure extending internally to the marginal sagittal layer. Compared with controls (P < 0.01-0.05) luminal longitudinal and internal measures of the neural tube of 13-day rat embryos decreased but transverse diameter of central canal increased in rats given VPA. In 19 day fetuses we found decreased sagittal and transverse diameters of the spinal cord and mantle and marginal layers but an increased ependymal layer in those given VPA. Distance between vertebral cartilaginous arches increased in rats given VPA. Our findings suggest that in utero, VPA may induce developmental changes in the spinal cord of rat offspring.


Key words: Sodium valproate, Neural tube, Histomorphometric study, Rat embryo.