Genistein is an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC), derived from soya, with reported adverse effects on fetal development. The placenta regulates fetal environment for fidelity of organogenesis which can be compromised by several external factors including EDCs. This study examined the influence of genistein on the histomorphometry of the Giant Trophoblast Cells (GTC) of the placenta and the oxidative stress balance across the maternal serum, placenta and the amniotic fluid at different gestational days.
Sixty-five pregnant Sprague Dawley rats were divided into control (Control) and genistein (Gen) force fed (2 mg/kg and 4 mg/kg) groups. At terminal gestation days raging (GD) 0, 6, 13, 18 and 20, the rats were sacrificed by cervical dislocation. Blood samples, amniotic fluid and placenta homogenates (PH) were carefully prepared and used for the antioxidant assays. Hematoxylin and eosin stained placenta tissue slides were prepared and used for GTC histomorphometry assessment under the microscope. All procedures used were in accordance with International best practices in animal care and experimentation as approved by the Institution Health Research and Ethics Committee.
Serum level of antioxidants; SOD, CAT, GSH were increase while their levels were reduced across GDs in AF, but the levels were fluctuating in the PH with a decrease in GSH and CAT. GTC population and zones in the placenta tissue were significantly reduced in all genistein treated groups.
Aberrant effect of genistein on fetal development was accompanied with reductions in GTC zone and count and with a disruption in the antioxidant defense system across the maternal serum, placenta and amniotic fluid in gravid laboratory rats.