The aim of our research is to study effects of selected plant extracts, polyphenols of natural origin (genistein and daidzein), synthetic steroid hormones (estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, dexamethasone) and peptide hormones (somatostatin, calcitonin and ghrelin) on rat neuroendocrine system. The experiments are designed to test the putative developmental effects of selected „natural" and syntetic hormones (exposure at fetal, neonatal, juvenile and peripubertal age), as well as the potentially beneficial effects of short- and long-term exposure to the same treatments at adult, middle-age and old age of rat life cycle. Aging is a multifactorial process in which hormonal homeostasis undergoes significant changes, affecting neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, skeletal and all vital functions. Assessment of putative beneficial/risk effects of the plant and synthetic hormones and extracts will be conducted using several different rat models of menopause/andropause and aging: gonadectomized young adults, gonadectomized middle-aged and gonad-intact middle aged males and females as well as old aged males. Comparison between surgically inflicted and „natural" andropause/menopause models should provide better insight into the mechanisms of action of examined substances. All hormone-sensitive physiological systems are response to hormone-like substances. Researches in our department are focused on assessment of major endocrine systems that are affected by polyphenols: hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal, -somatotropic, -gonadal and -thyroid, as well as on end points of these hormone action in liver and bone.

In our research we apply histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, ummunofluorescence, RT-PCR, Western blot, hormonal analyses, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, as well as electron microscopy research technique. Changes at histological level are quantified by unbiased stereological method (newCast software system).

The results of our research are published in international and local peer reviewed journals and have also been presented at local and international scientific meetings. During current project period, four Ph.D. theses were finished and at the moment one is being carried out in the department.

Our department have permanent collaborations with biomedical departments from our own Institute as well as from: the Faculties of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Biology, Pharmacy and Veterinary sciences, University of Belgrade; Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, University of Belgrade; Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Kragujevac; Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, University of Niš; Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Novi Sad; Faculties of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and Veterinary Sciences, University "St. Cyril and Methodius", Skopje, FYROM and Institute for Experimental Endocrinology, Charite University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany, INRA-Clermont Ferrand/Theix, 63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France, Unité de Nutrition Humaine, Clermont Université, Clermont-Ferrand, France, and Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, USA.


polyphenols of natural origin
mineral homeostasis
development and programming
cellular mechanics


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