Anti-viral drugs during pregnancy hampers PFC development

Date of news: 11 August 2020

The antiretroviral drug Efavirenz (EFV) is used for treatment of HIV infection, and successfully inhibits viral replication and mother-to-child transmission of HIV during pregnancy and childbirth. Unfortunately, the drug induces neuropsychiatric symptoms such as anxiety and depressed mood and potentially affects cognitive performance. In our paper in Biochemical Pharmacology ( we show that perinatal exposure to EFV provoked cell death, significant changes in cytoarchitecture, and disturbances in serotonergic and dopaminergic innervation of the prefrontal cortex of adult offspring. Our results are important in the light of EFV treatment of HIV-positive pregnant women, and its effect on brain development and cognitive behavior.

20200811 Kollk DevelopingPFC (1)