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J Vet Sci. 2011 Jun;12(2):121-6.

Evaluation of the estrogenic effects of dietary perinatal Trifolium pratense.

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Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Istanbul University, 34320 Avcilar, Istanbul, Turkey.


This study was designed to investigate the potential estrogenic effects of perinatal dietary phytoestrogens on the rat uterus. Pregnant rats were divided to three groups provided the following diets: (1) rat chow, (2) rat chow with 7.5% Trifolium (T.) pratense, or (3) rat chow supplemented with 17β-estradiol (0.5 mg/kg). The dams in each group were kept on the same diet during pregnancy and lactation. Female offspring were euthanized on day 21 at which time body and organ weights were recorded and tissue samples were taken for histology. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and progesterone receptor (PR) levels. Our results revealed estrogen-like biological effects of perinatal T. pratense exposure. Relative uterus and ovary weights in the experimental groups were increased compared to control. The number of uterine glands and luminal epithelium heights were also increased. However, there were no statistically significant changes detected in the immunostaining intensity of ERα and PR between the groups.

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