Effects of soy phytoestrogens on pituitary-ovarian function in middle-aged female rats
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- Medigović, I.M., Živanović, J.B., Ajdžanović, V.Z. et al. Endocrine (2015) 50: 764. doi:10.1007/s12020-015-0691-x
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The aim of this study was to assess the effects of genistein (G) and daidzein (D) on the histological, hormonal, and functional parameters of the pituitary-ovarian axis in middle-aged female rats, and to compare these effects with the effects of estradiol (E), commonly used in the prevention and treatment of menopausal symptoms. Middle-aged (12 month old) Wistar female rats subcutaneously received 35 mg/kg of G, or 35 mg/kg of D, or 0.625 mg/kg of E every day for 4 weeks. Each of the treated groups had a corresponding control group. An intact control group was also established. G and D did not change the intracellular protein content within gonadotropic and lactotropic cells, but vacuolization was observed in all the cell types. In contrast, E caused an inhibition of gonadotropic and stimulation of lactotropic cells. Also, ovaries of middle-aged female rats exposed to G or D have more healthy primordial and primary follicles and less atretic follicles. E treatment in the ovaries had a mostly negative effect, which is reflected by the increased number of atretic follicles in all tested classes. G and D provoked decrease in CuZnSOD and CAT activity, while E treatment increased MnSOD and decreased CuZnSOD and GSHPx activity. All the treatments increased serum estradiol and decreased testosterone levels, while D and E increased the serum progesterone level. In conclusion, soy phytoestrogens exhibited beneficial effects on pituitary-ovarian function in middle-aged female rats, as compared to estradiol.