Send to

Choose Destination
J Toxicol Pathol. 2011 Jun;24(2):95-111. doi: 10.1293/tox.24.95. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Toxicological pathology in the rat placenta.

Author information

Biological Research Laboratories, Nissan Chemical Industries, Ltd., 1470 Shiraoka, Minamisaitama, Saitama 349-0294, Japan.


The placenta grows rapidly for a short period with high blood flow during pregnancy and has multifaceted functions, such as its barrier function, nutritional transport, drug metabolizing activity and endocrine action. Consequently, the placenta is a highly susceptible target organ for drug- or chemical-induced adverse effects, and many placenta-toxic agents have been reported. However, histopathological examination of the placenta is not generally performed, and the placental toxicity index is only the placental weight change in rat reproductive toxicity studies. The placental cells originate from the trophectoderm of the embryo and the endometrium of the dam, proliferate and differentiate into a variety of tissues with interaction each other according to the development sequence, resulting in formation of a placenta. Therefore, drug- or chemical-induced placental lesions show various histopathological features depending on the toxicants and the exposure period, and the pathogenesis of placental toxicity is complicated. Placental weight assessment appears not to be enough to evaluate placental toxicity, and reproductive toxicity studies should pay more attention to histopathological evaluation of placental tissue. The detailed histopathological approaches to investigation of the pathogenesis of placental toxicity are considered to provide an important tool for understanding the mechanism of teratogenicity and developmental toxicity with embryo lethality, and could benefit reproductive toxicity studies.


placental hypertrophy; placental pathology; rat; small placenta

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center