Effect of diclofenac on implantation and embryonic development in the rat

H. J.A. Carp*, A. Fein, L. Nebel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent evidence suggests that decidualization can be considered a modified inflammatory reaction. In this work we intended to determine whether the prostaglandin inhibitor diclofenac could affect implantation. Rat blastocysts were cultured in diclofenac in vitro, then implanted to host mothers on day 5 of pseudopregnancy. Large doses of diclofenac in culture were toxic. Smaller doses had a profound effect on implantation. Another group of host mothers received diclofenac i.p., one hour prior to transfer of untreated blastocysts. The results were compared to parallel controls without diclofenac treatment. Control animals had a 72% impantation rate, whereas there was only a 35-41% implantation rate after in vitro diclofenac treatment. In the treated host mothers only 7% of embryos were normal, while 34% were growth-retarded. More normal embryos were found when the blastocysts were cultured with diclofenac. The observations indicate that diclofenac administered to the mother inhibits the ongoing process of implantation and placentation, whereas following in vitro exposure the embryo can recover from the insult. The implications for a better understanding of the process of implantation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-277
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1988


  • Blastocyst
  • Diclofenac
  • Implantation
  • Rat


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