Objective: Our objective was to verify whether prenatal maternal periodontitis is a risk factor for the development of central nervous system disorders in rats. Methods: Periodontitis was induced by placing a ligature around the upper and lower first molars in 9 female Wistar rats (experimental group); 9 rats were left unligated (control group). The maternal general activity in an open field was observed on gestational day (GD) 0, GD 4, and GD 14, and the maternal performance was assessed on the second day after birth. The pups’ play behavior was assessed on postnatal day 30. The relative level of reelin was measured in the frontal cortex by real-time PCR analysis. Results: The results showed that, compared with the control group, (1) the general activity in female rats with periodontitis was decreased, (2) the maternal performance of these rats was not modified by periodontitis, (3) the play behavior of pups from dams with periodontitis was decreased, and (4) there were no differences in the frontal cortex reelin levels of pups from dams with periodontitis. Conclusions: We conclude that pre- and postnatal periodontitis induces maternal sickness behavior and reduces the pups’ play behavior without interference with frontal cortex reelin expression.

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