CHRISTINE WAGNER AND JARI WILLIN
EDITOR'S CHOICE IN DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
J. Willing, C.K. Wagner, “Exposure to the synthetic progestin, 17α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate, during development impairs cognitive flexibility in adulthood,” Endocrinology, doi:10.1210/en.2015-1775, 2015.
Expectant moms at risk of premature delivery may receive a steroid hormone boost in the form of a synthetic progesterone, 17α-hydroxy-progesterone caproate (17-OHPC), which lengthens gestation. The developing brain is sensitive to steroid hormones, but few studies have looked at whether these drugs affect cognition. So Jari Willing and Christine Wagner of the University at Albany-SUNY exposed newborn rats to 17-OHPC to model a human fetal phase when cognitive flexibility develops.
The team injected rats with 17-OHPC or a control solution for 14 days after birth. Some animals were raised to young adulthood and given a behavioral task to assess...