The Effect of Piracetam on Valproic Acid Induced Congenital Malformations in Swiss Albino Mice

  • Shamsher Shrestha Department of Anatomy, B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal
  • M. Singh Department of Anatomy, B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan
  • S.P. Mishra Deparment of Biochemistry, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, UP
Keywords: Valproic acid, Piracetam, Mice, exencephaly, tail defects


Valproic acid (VPA) is an antiepileptic drug which is widely used in humans and is a well known teratogenic agent when used during pregnancy. Piracetam is a nootropic or cognitive enhancer drug used to treat cognitive impairment in aging, brain injuries as well as dementia. In the present study, these two drugs VPA and Piracetam were administered orally to Swiss albino mice in the doses of400 mg/kg and 800 mg/kg body weight respectively from gestational day (GD) 6-11 in order to see the protective effect of Piracetam against VPA induced teratogenesis. The fetuses were collected on GD 18 after uterotomy and observed for gross malformations if any. In VPA treated group the malformations observed were exencephaly, cranioschisis, limb and tail defects, haemorrhage, resorptions and retardation. No such anomalies were observed in control and Piracetam treated groups. However,in VPA+ Piracetam treated group some resorptions and growth retardation were noted. This group showed highly significant (p < 0.001) protection against the teratogenic effects of VPA treated group though the developmental parameters were significantly reduced (p < 0.001) in comparison to those of group I (control) and group III (receiving piracetam). These findings suggest that Piracetam, if given in higher doses might protect the development in utero against the teratogenic effects of VPA.


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