Prenatal valproic acid exposure decreases neuronal membrane order in rat offspring hippocampus and cortex

Charles V. Vorhees, Scott L. Rauch, Robert Hitzemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Sprague-Dawley rats were administered 0 or 200 mg/kg of valproic acid (VPA) on days 7-18 of gestation. Controls were pair-fed. On postnatal day 28, analyses of brain tissues were performed on enriched neuronal membrane fractions from cerebellum, hippocampus, and cortex for anisotropy using the membrane probe 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH). No significant differences in membrane anisotropy were noted in the cerebellum, but a significant reduction in anisotropy in the hippocampus and cortex was observed. This change corresponds to a 3-5°C increase in temperature or that produced by other membrane disordering agents (ethanol, phenytoin). An association between membrane anisotropy and functional effects of prenatal VPA exposure is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-474
Number of pages4
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes



  • Anisotropy in cortex
  • Anisotropy in hippocampus
  • In utero valproic acid and membrane anisotropy
  • Prenatal valproic acid
  • Rats
  • Synaptic membrane order
  • Valproate-induced reduction in membrane order

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Toxicology

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