Ultrastructure of Fetal Mice Hepatocytes Exposed in Utero to Diazepam

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María Cristina Márquez-Orozco; Graciela de la Fuente-Juárez & Amalia Márquez-Orozco


Previous research has shown that fetal mice hepatic cells from females treated with diazepam (Valium) during pregnancy depict cytoplasmic and nuclear modifications when observed with photonic microscope. The purpose of this work is to investigate if diazepam administered subcutaneously (SC) to pregnant mice females induces ultraestructural alterations in the cytoplasmic organelles and nucleus to fetal hepatocytes. Transmission electron microscopy observations of fetal hepatocytes from pregnant females treated with a single daily dose of diazepam 2.7 mg/kg/bw/SC administered from 6th to 15th days of gestation revealed that they frequently presented disorganized and dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum cisterns, membranous elements, abundant Golgi complex and glycogen granules, around large vacuoles. The voluminous nucleus shows atypical distribution of chromatin. These alterations could modify the hepatocyte's physiology and probably persist after birth.

KEY WORDS: Benzodiazepines; Diazepam; Fetal hepatocytes; Ultrastructure.

How to cite this article

MÁRQUEZ-OROZCO, M. C.; DE LA FUENTE-JUÁREZ, G. & MÁRQUEZ-OROZCO, A. Ultrastructure of fetal mice hepatocytes exposed in utero to diazepam. Int. J. Morphol., 33(4):1436-1440, 2015.