Genistein was reported to adversely influence fetal development although this is yet to be fully understood as a mechanism.
In this study, pregnant rats were divided into control (Cont.) and genistein force-fed (2-mg/kg and 4-mg/kg) groups. Each group was divided further into five subgroups: GD-0, GD-6, GD-13, GD-18, and GD-20 based on the terminal gestational day (GD). On the respective terminal GD, the rats were sacrificed and blood samples and amniotic fluid were carefully collected and separated and placenta homogenates were prepared. These samples were evaluated for oxidative stress and inflammatory reaction. The weights of embryonic implant and placenta tissue were also recorded. Heat shock protein (Hsp) (60 and 90), corticosterone, and oxidative stress biomarkers were determined in all the samples.
Fetal and placental weights in all genistein-exposed groups were significantly decreased. A fluctuation in the level of the Hsp was recorded with a significant decrease recorded in Hsp90 level in the placenta and amniotic fluid towards GD-20 along with a concomitant increase in the corticosterone level in the amniotic fluid in all genistein groups compared to control. Maternal serum at GD-18 and GD -20 recorded a significant increase in antioxidant level (SOD, GSH, CAT) in all genistein-exposed groups. However, these antioxidants were significantly reduced in the placenta and the amniotic fluid compared to control.
Genistein enhances the placenta function in attenuating the risk of oxidative stress in the amniotic fluid and deferentially suppressed inflammatory activities in the placenta during early gestation and towards late gestation period.
The authors appreciate the technical assistance of Mr. Folorunsho Adekunle and Mr. Dada Kayode in animal handling and sample collection. This research work was carried out at the Department of Physiology, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria, with funding support through the University of Lagos CRC grant (CRC-2015/13).
Author contributions: The research work was conceptualized by Dr. F.O. Awobajo. It was jointly designed by Dr. F.O. Awobajo (FOA), Dr. A.O. Morakinyo, Dr. T.A. Samuel, and Dr. O.T. Oyelowo. Investigation and acquisition of experimental data were undertaken by all authors. Manuscript was originally drafted by FOA and reviewed, edited, and approved by all authors.
Research funding: University of Lagos, Nigeria (CRC No 201303 Code No 11-004-5120).
Employment or leadership: None declared.
Honorarium: None declared.
Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.
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