Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2009;52(1):111-118.
Published online January 15, 2009.
Effect of genistein on the sexual maturation in immature female rats
Woocheol Lee1, Sung-Ho Lee1, Ryun-Sup Ahn2, Mi Jung Park3
1Department of Life Science, Sangmyung University, Seoul, Korea
1Department of Life Science, Sangmyung University, Seoul, Korea
2Graduate School of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Pochon CHA Medical University, Seoul, Korea
3Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Inje University, Seoul, Korea
미성숙 암컷 흰쥐의 성 성숙에 미치는 genistein의 효과
이우철1, 이성호1, 안련섭2, 박미정3
1상명대학교 생명과학전공
1상명대학교 생명과학전공
2포천중문의과대학 대체의학대학원
3인제대학교 의학대학 소아과학교실
Correspondence: 
Mi Jung Park, Email: PMJ@paik.ac.kr
Abstract
Puopose : Exposure to dietary phytoestrogens such as genistein during early childhood is a growing public health concern. We examined the effect of early exposure to genistein on sexual maturation in immature rats.
Methods
: Weaning (3wk-old) Sprague-Dawley female rats were assigned to three groups (n=6 for each): fed by high dose of genistein (100 mg/kg/d), low dose of genistein (10 mg/kg/d) and control group. First vaginal opening (VO) day was observed. Structural alterations in the ovary and uterus were assessed by histologically. Expression of genes of ERα, ERβ, and progesterone receptor (PR) in the ovary and uterus were investigated by RT-PCR.
Results
: High genistein group had earlier VO than control and low genistein group. Graafian follicles and corpora lutea were observed from the ovary of genistein-treated groups, while primary, secondary follicles and small atretic follicles were observed in the control group. Hypertrophy of luminal and glandular uterine epithelia were found in the genistein-treated groups while poor development of gland and fewer myometrial cell layers were evident in control group. In ovary, the transcriptional activities of ERα and ERβ were higher in high genistein group than in controls. In uterus, the transcriptional activities of ERα, ERβ and PR were higher in low genistein group than in controls.
Conclusion
: Acute exposure to genistein during the prepubertal period could activate the reproductive endocrine system resulting in the early onset of puberty in female rats. Further clinical investigation on the effect of genistein on the sexual maturation in children is warranted.
Key Words: Genistein, Puberty, Ovary, Uterus, Onset of puberty


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