Treatment of pregnant rats with cyproheptadine during the last 8 days of gestation produced alterations in the function of the endocrine pancreas in the offspring. The abnormalities exhibited by 50-day-old progeny of drug-treated dams included glucose intolerance, a twofold increase in levels of insulin in the pancreas, and an accentuated response to the insulin-lowering action of cyproheptadine in the endocrine pancreas. The alterations observed in these animals were limited to the insulin-containing cells, and no change was found in the pancreatic concentrations of glucagon and somatostatin. The results are the first to demonstrate that postnatal pancreatic B-cell function can be selectively altered by prenatal exposure to an exogenous chemical.

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