Vigabatrin (VGB) has several therapeutic advantages over older antiepileptic drugs (AED), but there is a lack of information about its potential reproductive toxicologic effects. Our aim was to evaluate the consequences of VGB administered during late gestation on fetal growth and development in the mouse. Based on the results of our previous study, we administered groups of mice a single dose of 450. mg/kg VGB on one of gestation days (GD) 15, 16 or 17. Fetuses were collected on GD 18. VGB groups had a significant incidence of fetal death, abortion, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and hypoplasia of the axial skeleton, metacarpals, metatarsal and phalanges. Abortion was characterized by visible hemorrhagic expulsion of the embryos with their membranes. Maternal plasma folate (FA) and vitamin B12 concentrations were found to be markedly reduced within 12. h of VGB treatment. Mice were supplemented with FA from GD 12 through GD 17 with or without a single dose of VGB on GD 15. This group had no abortions. Their fetuses had better body weight and lower frequency of IUGR than those of the non-supplemented VGB group. These data suggest that reductions in maternal FA and vitamin B12 concentrations play an important role in fetal loss, IUGR and skeletal hypoplasia induced by VGB during late gestation in the mouse. In view of the finding that a significant maternal toxicity is associated with this dose regimen, additional groups of mice were treated with 350. mg/kg VGB during embryogenesis and late gestation. This treatment was found to be maternally nontoxic. However, this low dose also resulted in significant fetal loss and IUGR when treatment occurred during late gestation. These data support the hypothesis that late gestation is particularly susceptible to VGB-induced fetal loss and IUGR in the mouse.
- Antiepileptic drug vigabatrin
- Fetal skeletal hypoplasia
- Intrauterine growth restriction
- Pregnancy loss
- Supplemental folic acid
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