Gestational caffeine modifies offspring behaviour in mice

C. M. Sinton, J. L. Valatx, M. Jouvet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Dams from two strains of mice, BALB/c and C57BR were treated during gestation with caffeine, at doses of about 60, 80 and 100 mg/kg/day, in their drinking water. The resulting offspring were behaviourally tested over a 6-month period commencing at age 9 months. When compared with controls, mice from dams that had received caffeine demonstrated longer latencies in a passive avoidance test, and differences were also noted for female C57BR offspring in activity and habituation measures. Having controlled as far as possible for post-natal maternal and environmental effects, the most likely conclusion is that caffeine has a direct pharmacological action on the foetus, and should therefore be classed as a behavioural teratogen in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 1981


  • Behavioural teratogenesis
  • Caffeine
  • Developmental pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Open field
  • Passive avoidance
  • Spontaneous alternation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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