Morphometric Abnormalities in Spleen and Kidney of the Progeny of Mice Fed American Cranberry Extract (Vaccinium macrocarpon) During Pregnancy and Lactation.
Cranberries and cranberry-derived diet supplements are often recommended for the treatment of urinary tract infections, also during pregnancy. These products contain strongly anti-angiogenic chemical compounds which could not be indifferent to the developing fetus. In the present work we evaluated the effect of feeding pregnant and lactating mice American cranberry extract (daily dose 0.88 mg) on the morphology and some parameters of spleen and kidney function of their adult progeny. Six weeks after delivery the morphometry of spleen and kidney, cytometric analysis of spleen lymphocytes, evaluation of humoral response to SRBC (Sheep Red Blood Cells), and examination of serum creatinine/urea concentration, were performed in the offspring. Spleens of progeny from experimental (E) group differed from the spleens of progeny of control mice in the lower number of lymphatic nodules and their larger diameter. Cytometry of spleen cells from progeny of E mothers revealed more CD19+ and CD8+ lymphocytes than in the control group. No difference was seen in the response to immunization by red blood cells of sheep (SRBC) between control and E offspring. An increase in the diameter of glomeruli was observed in the kidneys of the experimental group in comparison with the control group. No abnormalities in creatinine and urea serum level were observed. A higher concentration of VEGF and bFGF in E offspring sera in comparison to the controls was seen. CONCLUSION: Although the observed differences between the control and experimental group were not large, caution is recommended in using cranberries and their extracts during pregnancy until more research will be done on this topic.