Retinoic acid, an active metabolite of vitamin A, plays essential signaling roles in mammalian embryogenesis. Prena- tal rat fetuse exposure to retinoid induces some malformations in various organs, the most active and teratogenic metablolite is all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA). The teratogenic effects of some drugs can be prevented by the application of antioxidant drugs and stimulation of the maternal immune system. Also, quercetin, a naturally occurring flavonoid has excellent antioxidant properties. Therefore, the aim of this study was assess the protective effects of quercetin against atRA in fetuses of rat’s kidney tissue. This study was performed on 40 pregnant rats that were divided into seven groups. Control group received normal saline and test groups received DMSO, quercetin (75 mg/kg), quercetin (200 mg/kg), atRA (25 mg/kg), atRA (25 mg/kg) plus quercetin (75 mg/kg) and atRA (25 mg/kg) plus quercetin (200 mg/kg), intraperitoneally at 8-10th days of gestation. Fetuses were collected at 20th day of gestation. Kidneys were collected and placed in 10 % buffered formalin solution. Then, kidneys were sectioned by routine method and stained by H&E and examined histologically. On histomorphomertrical examination, it was observed the priglomerular space and diameter of renal corpuscle in group which received only atRA were significantly (p≤0.05) greater than those received normal saline, dimethyl sulfoxide and quercetin, while these two indexes in group which received atRA plus quercetin significantly (p≤0.05) decreased by quercetin as dose dependent manner. Number of renal corpuscles were significantly (p≤0.05) decreased by atRA, but the quercetin could not affect the glomerular numbers. It is concluded that quercetin can protect fetuses against atRA damages and prevent their incidence probably via its antioxidant effect.
KEY WORDS: Retinoic acid; Quercetin; Histomorphometry; Fetus; Rat.