A three generation study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: Biochemical and histopathological investigation

Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Mar;46(3):1164-70. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2007.11.016. Epub 2007 Dec 5.


For the last ten years, in accordance with the increased use of genetically modified (GM) foods for human and livestock, a large number of feeding studies have been carried out. However, the evidence is still far from proving whether the long-term consumption of GM foods poses a possible danger for human or animal health. Therefore, this study was designed to evaluate the effects of transgenic corn on the rats that were fed through three generations with either GM corn or its conventional counterpart. Tissue samples of stomach, duodenum, liver and kidney were obtained for histopathological examinations. The average diameter of glomeruli, thickness of renal cortex and glomerular volume were calculated and number of affected animals/number of examined animals for liver and kidney histopathology were determined. Amounts of urea, urea nitrogen, creatinine, uric acid, total protein, albumin and globulin were determined; enzyme activities of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma glutamyltransferase, creatine kinase and amylase were measured in serum samples. No statistically significant differences were found in relative organ weights of rats within groups but there were some minimal histopathological changes in liver and kidney. Changes in creatinine, total protein and globulin levels were also determined in biochemical analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Chemical Analysis
  • Body Weight
  • Duodenum / pathology*
  • Female
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Plants, Genetically Modified* / adverse effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stomach / pathology*
  • Zea mays / genetics*