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Effects of Dietary Daidzein Supplementation on Reproductive Performance, Serum Hormones, and Reproductive-Related Genes in Rats

by Qiqi Zhang 1,2, Daiwen Chen 1,2, Bing Yu 1,2, Xiangbing Mao 1,2, Zhiqing Huang 1,2, Jie Yu 1,2, Junqiu Luo 1,2, Ping Zheng 1,2, Yuheng Luo 1,2 and Jun He 1,2,*
Institute of Animal Nutrition, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, Sichuan, China
Key Laboratory for Animal Disease-Resistance Nutrition of China Ministry of Education, Chengdu 611130, Sichuan, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(6), 766;
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 3 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of dietary daidzein supplementation on reproductive performance in rats. A total of twenty-four female Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats were randomly allocated to two groups and fed either with a basal diet (CON) or basal diet containing 50 mg/kg daidzein (DAI) from gestation until delivery stage. The results show that daidzein supplementation significantly increased the total litter weight and the total viable newborn weight (p < 0.05). Interestingly, daidzein supplementation acutely elevated the concentrations of serum estrogen, progesterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (p < 0.01) after the maternal rats’ delivery. The concentrations of serum immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) were also significantly higher in the DAI maternal rats than in the CON maternal rats (p < 0.05). Moreover, daidzein significantly increased the total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) in maternal rats’ sera and in newborns (p < 0.05) and elevated the concentration of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in both the maternal rats’ sera and their ovaries (p < 0.05). Importantly, daidzein supplementation significantly elevated the expression levels of estrogen receptor β (ERβ) and NR5A2 genes in maternal rats’ ovaries (p < 0.05) and downregulated the expression level of prolactin receptor (PRLR) in newborns (p < 0.05). These results suggest that dietary daidzein supplementation improves reproductive performance and fetal development in rats, which is associated with changes in serum hormones, tissue antioxidant capacity, and expression levels of reproductive-related genes, both in maternal rats and their offspring. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemical parameters; reproductive-related genes; rats chemical parameters; reproductive-related genes; rats
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Zhang, Q.; Chen, D.; Yu, B.; Mao, X.; Huang, Z.; Yu, J.; Luo, J.; Zheng, P.; Luo, Y.; He, J. Effects of Dietary Daidzein Supplementation on Reproductive Performance, Serum Hormones, and Reproductive-Related Genes in Rats. Nutrients 2018, 10, 766.

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