A Developmental Study of Dietary Phytoestrogen Exposure During the Perinatal Period:Effects on Ultrasonic Vocalizations and Open Field Behavior

Rebecca R. Totten, Bethany J. Sanstrum, Kandace E. Leehans


Phytoestrogens, the most common of which are isoflavones, are plant-derived estrogens present in a variety of plant products such as alfalfa, red clover, and fodder crops, as well as in soybeans and plants used in fermenting 22. Isoflavones, such as genistein and diadzein, are heterocyclic phenols that are very similar in structure to human steroidal estrogen16. Previous research has found that Perinatal dietary exposure to phytoestrogens alters ultrasonic vocalizations differentially in male and female rats5. Both of these behaviors are thought to be a measure of separation stress or anxiety 2,3,20. Results of the present study suggest that a change in phytoestrogen content of the diet early in development can alter behavioral expression in an open field during a10-minute isolation from the home cage.


Phytoestrogen, Ultra-sonic Vocalizations, Open Field

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