Alterations in Rat Pancreatic B-Cell Function Induced by Prenatal Exposure to Cyproheptadine

  1. Lawrence J Fischer
  1. Toxicology Center, Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, The University of Iowa Iowa City, Iowa 52242
  1. Address reprint requests to Dr. Lawrence J. Fischer at the above address.


Treatment of pregnant rats with cyproheptadine during the last 8 days of gestation produced alterations in the function of the endocrine pancreas in the offspring. The abnormalities exhibited by 50-day-old progeny of drug-treated dams included glucose intolerance, a twofold increase in levels of insulin in the pancreas, and an accentuated response to the insulin-lowering action of cyproheptadine in the endocrine pancreas. The alterations observed in these animals were limited to the insulin-containing cells, and no change was found in the pancreatic concentrations of glucagon and somatostatin. The results are the first to demonstrate that postnatal pancreatic B-cell function can be selectively altered by prenatal exposure to an exogenous chemical.

  • Received September 30, 1983.
  • Revision received December 6, 1983.
  • Accepted December 6, 1983.
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