Evaluation of apoptotic cell death on liver and kidney tissues following administration of levetiracetam during prenatal period
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Objective: Levetiracetam is a new generation antiepileptic drug used in treatment of patients with epilepsy and has adverse effects on different tissues. We aimed to evaluate the apoptotic effects of levetiracetam exposure during pregnancy on liver and kidney tissues of rat pups. Methods: We analyzed the newborn rat pups exposed to levetiracetam during prenatal period. Fifteen pregnant female rats were divided into three groups. The group 1 and 2 rats were treated with different doses of levetiracetam (25 mg/kg/d and 50 mg/kg/d, respectively) from gestational days 1-22 during pregnancy. Group 3 (control group) was treated with the same volume of saline. Apoptosis was evaluated by the terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) method. Liver and kidney tissues from rat pups were used for investigation. Results: The percent of TUNEL positive apoptotic cells in group 1 were 22 and 17.5 for kidney and liver, respectively. The percent of TUNEL positive apoptotic cells in group 2 were 20.9 and 20.9 for kidney and liver, respectively. The percent of TUNEL positive apoptotic cells in group 3 were 18.4 and 17.1, respectively, for kidney and liver. The apoptotic index was the same in kidney and liver tissues of all groups. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that the prenatal exposure of levetiracetam has no apoptotic effects on liver and kidney of rat pups and, it has biosafety in pregnancy in terms of apoptosis. The first study evaluating the apoptotic effects on liver and kidney tissues following administration of levetiracetam during prenatal period.