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Dev Reprod. 2017 Jun;21(2):151-156. doi: 10.12717/DR.2017.21.2.151. Epub 2017 Jun 30.

Effect of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Intake on the Female Reproductive Organs and Lipid Accumulation in Adult Rats.

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Department of Biotechnology, Sangmyung University, Seoul 03016, Korea.


High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is widely used as sweetener, and its overconsumption is become a major health problem. In the present study, we used adult female rats and applied a 28 days HFCS feeding model to monitor the estrous cycle and changes in tissue weights and histology. Adult female rats were divided into three groups. Animals were fed with ad libitum normal chow and (1) 24 hours tap water (Control group), (2) 12 hours HFCS access during dark period and 12 hours tap water (12H group), and (3) 24 hours HFCS only access (24H group). Total exposure period was 28 days. There is no significant change in body weight between control and HFCS-fed animals. Both absolute and relative weights of ovary in 24H animals were significantly heavier than those in control or 12H animals. The absolute and relative weights of the kidney and liver in 24H groups were significantly heavier than those in control or 12H animals. The estrous cycles of the 24H animals were significantly longer. Histological analyses revealed that 24H ovaries were relatively bigger and possessed more corpus lutea than control ovaries. Uterine sections of 12H and 24H animals showed a well-developed stratum vasculare between inner and outer myometrial layers. The number of endometrial glands were decreased in 12H uteri, and recovered in 24H uteri compared to control. Numbers of convoluted tubule in distal region increased in 12H and 24H kidney samples. Liver specimens of 12H and 24H showed the increased number of fat containing vacuoles. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that HFCS treatment for 28 days could induce (1) changes in length of estrous cycle with extended estrous and diestrous stages, (2) altered ovarian and uterine histology, and (3) liver and renal lipid accumulation. These findings reveal the adverse effects of HFCS drinking on the reproductive function and lipid metabolism of female rats.


Estrous cycle; HFCS; Liver and renal lipid accumulation; Ovary; Rats; Uterus

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