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    The Effects of Different Concentrations of Retinoic Acid on the Histological Structure of Liver of Adult Albino Female Mice and Their Prenatal Fetuses

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    Retinoic acid (RA) an active metabolite of vitamin A, plays essential signaling roles in mammalian embryonic development and adult homeostasis through concentration-dependent activity but in excess, RA is teratogenic. The present study was designed to evaluate the harmful effect of RA on the: liver tissues of the adult pregnant female albino mice and their prenatal fetuses and adult morphological and behavior changes. Forty-five pregnant adult female albino mice were divided into three groups (n=15 for each group). Group I, the control group orally received 0.1ml of olive oil. Group II and III received 25 and 50mg RA/kg B.W. respectively. RA was dissolved in 0.1ml of olive oil and orally given on 7th, 8th, and 9th days of pregnancy. On the 18th day of gestation, these females were sacrificed and the liver from mother and their prenatal were removed, weighed, and prepared for histological study. The RA treated adult group exhibited behavior changes including general fatigue and loss of appetite, in addition to the morphological changes which included weight loss, change in normal red eye color towards black, and redness in the mouth and chin area associated with loss of hair (fur) around this area. These observations were showed to be more severe in the 50 mg RA group. The results showed that treatment with 25 and 50mg RA caused no significant decrease in the adult liver weight, while in their prenatal fetuses 50mg RA caused a higher significant decrease in the liver weight, but 25 mg RA caused no significant effects on this weight. Treated with 50mg/kg RA caused a highly significant increase in the number of aborted and dead fetuses as compared with other groups. The results of the histological study showed that treatment with both concentrations of RA caused several degrees of the liver damage with disrupted the normal architecture pattern along with hepatocellular steatosis, hypertrophy, and inflammation.  In conclusions, RA caused variable degrees of degeneration and destruction of the liver tissues of adult female (mother) and their prenatal. The most important effects of RA are causing hepatocellular steatosis, hypertrophy, and inflammation, and when RA giving during the critical periods of embryonic development, caused harmful effects on the developing liver, therefore treatment with RA should be avoided at any stage of gestation. Keywords: Liver, retinoic acid, embryonic development, vitamin A, histological study. DOI: 10.7176/JBAH/10-18-04 Publication date:September 30th 2020