Ultrastructural Morphometrical and Immunocytochemical Analyses of Hepatocyte Nuclei from Mice Fed on Genetically Modified Soybean

Istituto di Istologia e Analisi di Laboratorio, via Zeppi s n, University of Urbino, Italy.
Cell Structure and Function (Impact Factor: 1.68). 09/2002; 27(4):173-80. DOI: 10.1247/csf.27.173
Source: PubMed


No direct evidence that genetically modified (GM) food may represent a possible danger for health has been reported so far; however, the scientific literature in this field is still quite poor. Therefore, we carried out an ultrastructural morphometrical and immunocytochemical study on hepatocytes from mice fed on GM soybean, in order to investigate eventual modifications of nuclear components of these cells involved in multiple metabolic pathways related to food processing. Our observations demonstrate significant modifications of some nuclear features in GM-fed mice. In particular, GM fed-mice show irregularly shaped nuclei, which generally represents an index of high metabolic rate, and a higher number of nuclear pores, suggestive of intense molecular trafficking. Moreover, the roundish nucleoli of control animals change in more irregular nucleoli with numerous small fibrillar centres and abundant dense fibrillar component in GM-fed mice, modifications typical of increased metabolic rate. Accordingly, nucleoplasmic (snRNPs and SC-35) and nucleolar (fibrillarin) splicing factors are more abundant in hepatocyte nuclei of GM-fed than in control mice. In conclusion, our data suggest that GM soybean intake can influence hepatocyte nuclear features in young and adult mice; however, the mechanisms responsible for such alterations remain unknown.

Download full-text


Available from: Stefano Gavaudan, May 21, 2015
  • Source
    • "On the contrary, the majority of experiments conducted with deviations from the standard requirements on the safety assessment of GMO [11] [12] [13], has shown exactly the opposite results. Well-known examples of such publications are articles of [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] and so on. Nevertheless , the debate of this issue is still on, so the completion of science-based evidence of GMO safety has not lost its relevance, particularly, in the field of the next generations' health. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This publication presents the assessment of the impact of genetically modified (GM) LibertyLink® maize on reproductive function, prenatal and postnatal progeny development of Wistar rats over three generations. The animals were divided into two groups, which were fed with rodent diet with inclusion of GM LibertyLink® (’test group) and non-GM near-isogenic counterpart (’control group) maize varieties. The maize was included into the diet at maximum possible level (between 32 and 33%) not causing nutritional imbalance or metabolic disturbance for the experimental animals. Data analysis showed no impact of LibertyLink® maize on the animals’ fertility: the observed mating efficiency in both groups was within the normal expected range values under the given experiment conditions. The comparison of progeny prenatal development in the generations F0-F2 has not shown any differences between the groups. Analysis of the physical development of the F0-F2 progeny or pups body weight and length progress did not show any abnormalities. The average number of pups per litter in the control and test groups was within the expected range of variations. Therefore, the results should be considered as direct evidence of the lack of any reproductive toxicity of LibertyLink® maize (a.k.a. T25 maize).
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Toxicology Reports
  • Source
    • "Since LDH1 is known to be involved in cell metabolism by favouring the reaction of lactate to pyruvate (Van Hall, 2000), our results could indicate a general increase in cell metabolism. This hypothesis is in agreement not only with results previously obtained in rabbits (Tudisco et al., 2006b) but also with those who found significant modifications of some nuclear features in GM-fed mice suggesting a high metabolic rate and intense molecular trafficking (Malatesta et al., 2002a), signs of hepatorenal toxicity in rat fed transgenic corn MON863 (Seralini et al., 2007), changes in nucleic transcriptional activity, such as chromatin-associated elements in the cell nuclei of liver and pancreas of mice fed diets containing soybean GM for CP4 EPSPS (Malatesta et al., 2002b, 2003, 2005; Vecchio et al., 2004), enlarged spleen and possible impaired spleen function in GM soybean fed Atlantic salmon (Hemre et al., 2005), as well as other several researchers. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using the in vitro gas production technique - which evaluate nutritive value of ruminants feeds - the fermentation kinetics of genetically modified (GM) corn and the gas production of GM soybean were respectively faster and lower compared to their respective conventional counterpart, although the chemical composition were not affect by the genetic modification. Concerning the fate of vegetable DNA in animal organism, which is one of the most important concerns about the use of GM, transgenic DNA sequences were detected in blood and milk from goats fed transgenic soybean as well as from organs of their offspring fed only mother's milk. Considering the potential risks of GM impact, further researches need, including studies to determine DNA transport or entry mechanisms/processes across the epithelial layer of the gastro-intestinal tract into the bloodstream. In any case, the traceability of products from animals fed on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is crucial.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · World Review of Science Technology and Sustainable Development
  • Source
    • "Non-adherence to standard procedures makes data interpretation difficult as it is not clear which of the multiple variables that differed between the groups were causative of the observed differences. Research published between 2002 and 2005 by researchers in Italy indicating ultrastructural changes in organs in the liver, pancreas and testes of mice fed diets supplemented with GE and non-GE soya [36,37] has likewise been criticized by independent scientific groups [98,99] regarding a lack of information concerning the source of the GE soybean, the appropriateness of the control soybean used in the diet, and the nutritional composition of the diet. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In 2012, genetically engineered (GE) crops were grown by 17.3 million farmers on over 170 million hectares. Over 70% of harvested GE biomass is fed to food producing animals, making them the major consumers of GE crops for the past 15 plus years. Prior to commercialization, GE crops go through an extensive regulatory evaluation. Over one hundred regulatory submissions have shown compositional equivalence, and comparable levels of safety, between GE crops and their conventional counterparts. One component of regulatory compliance is whole GE food/feed animal feeding studies. Both regulatory studies and independent peer-reviewed studies have shown that GE crops can be safely used in animal feed, and rDNA fragments have never been detected in products (e.g. milk, meat, eggs) derived from animals that consumed GE feed. Despite the fact that the scientific weight of evidence from these hundreds of studies have not revealed unique risks associated with GE feed, some groups are calling for more animal feeding studies, including long-term rodent studies and studies in target livestock species for the approval of GE crops. It is an opportune time to review the results of such studies as have been done to date to evaluate the value of the additional information obtained. Requiring long-term and target animal feeding studies would sharply increase regulatory compliance costs and prolong the regulatory process associated with the commercialization of GE crops. Such costs may impede the development of feed crops with enhanced nutritional characteristics and durability, particularly in the local varieties in small and poor developing countries. More generally it is time for regulatory evaluations to more explicitly consider both the reasonable and unique risks and benefits associated with the use of both GE plants and animals in agricultural systems, and weigh them against those associated with existing systems, and those of regulatory inaction. This would represent a shift away from a GE evaluation process that currently focuses only on risk assessment and identifying ever diminishing marginal hazards, to a regulatory approach that more objectively evaluates and communicates the likely impact of approving a new GE plant or animal on agricultural production systems.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology
Show more