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Perinatal xenohormone exposure impacts sweet preference and submandibular development in male rats




To determine the effect of perinatal exposure to low doses of genistein and/or vinclozolin on submandibular salivary gland (SSG) development in juvenile and adult male rats and to establish a link with sweet preference.

Material and Methods

Female rats received orally (1 mg kg−1 body weight/day) genistein and vinclozolin, alone or in combination, from the first gestational day up to weaning. Sweet preference was assessed at weaning and in adulthood in male offspring; submandibular glands were then collected to study the morphogenesis and mRNA expression of steroid receptors, growth factors and taste related proteins.


Exposure to genistein and/or vinclozolin resulted in a higher saccharin intake on postnatal day 25 (< 0.05) linked to a higher number of pro-acinar cells (< 0.01) and mRNA expression of progesterone receptor, growth factors and gustine (< 0.01). These increases disappeared in adulthood, but mRNA expressions of sex hormone receptors and growth factors were strongly repressed in all treated groups (< 0.01).


Our findings confirm that the SSG are target for xenohormones and provide evidence that perinatal exposure to low doses of genistein and/or vinclozolin could simultaneously disrupt not only the salivary gland prepubertal development and sweet intake but also endocrine gene mRNA expression later in life.