Pregnancy alters the hemodynamic responses to cocaine in the rat

H. O. Morishima, T. B. Cooper, T. Hara, E. D. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


To test our hypotheses that the hemodynamic response to cocaine may be altered during pregnancy, cocaine (0.33 mg/kg/min) was infused intravenously to chronically catheterized pregnant and nonpregnant female rats. Cardiac output and regional blood flow were measured, and cocaine concentrations in plasma and tissues, as well as plasma cholinesterase activity were determined. Results were compared between pregnant and nonpregnant groups. Cocaine produced a significant decrease in heart rate, accompanied by a fall in cardiac output, and decreased cerebral, myocardial, and placental blood flow in pregnant rats. The plasma cocaine concentration in pregnant animals was lower than that of nonpregnant ones, but tissue concentrations were similar in both groups. These results indicate that pregnancy enhances cardiovascular responses to subtoxic doses of cocaine. There was little placental transfer of cocaine with a fetal to maternal plasma concentration ratio of 0.28.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Cocaine
  • Hemodynamic response
  • Pregnant rat
  • Tissue distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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