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In utero exposure to commercial artificial sweeteners affects mice development and mammary gland structure


Commercial artificial sweeteners present in the market are usually made of combination of nutritive and artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol and aspartame. The aim of this research was to study the effect of in utero exposure to commercial artificial sweeteners on the mouse development and on mammary gland in different stages (18-day embryos and 4-week-old mice). Pregnant mice of treated groups were given 50 mg/kg body weight of commercial artificial sweetener. The dose was given on day 1 of pregnancy until 3-week nursing, while the controls were given distilled water. Congenital malformations were seen in treated 18-day fetus and 4-week-old mice, such as a significant decrease in the diameter of the placenta and the weight of the fetuses, while in 4-week-old mice, a significant decrease in the length of the body, limbs, and tail was seen compared to the controls. The result of this study showed that in 18-day fetuses, clusters of mammary gland in the treated mice seemed to be more differentiated than the controls. In 4-week-old mice, the number of mammary gland ducts in the treated group was significantly more than the control group, and the lumen of the ducts in the treated sections seemed to be narrower than the controls, also many regressing terminal end buds (TEBs) were seen in the treated group. A significant increase in the mammary gland area of treated group was seen compared to the controls.

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We would like to thank King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology for the grant given for the completion of this research (Grant No. 336 -35 - أط).

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Correspondence to Fatma M. Al-Qudsi.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Al-Qudsi, F.M., Al-Hasan, M.M. In utero exposure to commercial artificial sweeteners affects mice development and mammary gland structure. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 5054–5064 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-3935-5

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  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Mouse embryo
  • Congenital malformation
  • Mammary gland
  • Terminal end buds
  • Growth retardation