Embryolethality induced by metronidazole (MTZ) in Rattus norvegicus

Teratog Carcinog Mutagen. 2001;21(3):197-205. doi: 10.1002/tcm.1008.


Parasitic illnesses is increasing all over the world, especially in developing countries, and metronidazole (MTZ) is the therapeutic agent usually administered to children as well as adults at the reproductive age. In this work, we propose an evaluation of MTZ in order to analyze the potential reproductive damage in females by using Rattus norvegicus (Sprague-Dawley) as an animal model. Adult female rats were mated after MTZ treatments, and they were sacrificed at 21 days of gestation. Different types of damage were evaluated by using mortality, phenotypic abnormalities and reproductive capacity as parameters, and were studied and scored in 70 adult specimens (450 g/bw). They were divided into five groups: a) untreated females as a control group; females treated with b) DMSO as a solvent control group or c) 500 mg/kg/bw of MTZ per day for 7 days as therapeutic dose (TD); d) a half therapeutic dose (HD); and e) a double therapeutic dose (DD). Pre-implantation death in MTZ-treated groups was not significantly different from controls. However, drug treatments significantly increased the frequency of post-implantation deaths and the dominant lethals were ranged between 12.0 % and 17.8 %.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antitrichomonal Agents / toxicity*
  • Embryo Implantation / drug effects
  • Embryo Loss / chemically induced
  • Embryo, Mammalian / drug effects*
  • Embryonic Development / drug effects
  • Female
  • Fertility / drug effects
  • Fetal Death / chemically induced*
  • Fetus / drug effects
  • Maternal Exposure*
  • Metronidazole / toxicity*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reproduction / drug effects


  • Antitrichomonal Agents
  • Metronidazole