Effect of single neonatal treatment with the soy bean phytosteroid, genistein on the sexual behavior of adult rats

G. Csaba, Cs Karabélyos

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Hormonal imprinting develops during the perinatal critical period, when the target hormone meets the yet unmatured receptor. As a consequence of imprinting the receptor accomplishes its maturation reaching the binding capacity characteristic to adults. In this period in the presence of foreign molecules similar to the target hormone faulty imprinting may occur with life-long consequences. Soy bean contains phytosteroids which can mimic estrogen effects. In the present experiments single genistein (20 μg) or combined genistein + benzpyrene (20 μg) treatments were done neonatally and the sexual behavior of male and female adult animals was studied. Genistein significantly increased the lordosis quotient of females, which was compensated by neonatal benzpyrene treatment. Genistein also enhanced the sexual activity of males, and this was significantly not reduced by parallel benzpyrene treatment. The results show that neonatal genistein exposure can imprint sexual activity for life and the presence of a second imprinter can modify genistein's behavioral effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-470
Number of pages8
JournalActa physiologica Hungarica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002



  • Benzpyrene
  • Genistein
  • Hormonal imprinting
  • Phytoestrogen
  • Sexual behavior
  • Soy bean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)

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