Increased emotional reactivity in rats following exposure to caffeine during adolescence.
Pregnant rats were given caffeine (0.0%, 0.017%, 0.034% or 0.05%) in their drinking water throughout gestation. Offspring were cross-fostered to non-caffeine-treated mothers at birth. A dose-related increase in offspring mortality was observed at 24 hr and at 10 days post partum. Prenatal caffeine exposure did not significantly influence open-field ambulation or defecation when tested at 48, 68, or 196 days of age. A significant dose-related increase in restraint-stress gastric ulcer susceptibility was detected at 200 days of age. Offspring from rats treated with 0.05% caffeine during pregnancy, developed significantly more frequent and significantly more severe gastric lesions than did offspring from control rats or from rats prenatally exposed to 0.017% and 0.034% caffeine. Prenatal caffeine exposure may: (1) predispose organisms to increased gastric disease susceptibility as adults and (2) interfere with neonatal feeding ability and thereby produce infant mortality.