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Abstract

Prenatal administration of 3,4,3′,4′-tetrachlorobiphenyl, zeranol, or diethylstilbestrol was observed to delay parturition in the rat and result in a concomitant increase in perinatal mortality. Even among control animals, those litters in which birth occurred after the beginning of day 22 of pregnancy contained significantly fewer survivors one day after birth. Increases in the length of gestation were correlated with increased weight of newborn control pups independent of litter size. The relationship between weight and litter size was anomalous, however, in treated animals. Gestational length is a sensitive indicator of a developmental effect even in the absence of overt teratogenicity.