Investigations have been carried out on the effect of maternal protein free diet on the placenta of laboratory mice of
Balb/C strain. The thickness of placental barrier was measured. Placental weight, fetal weight, fetal numbers were
also calculated and histological study was also done. Animal husbandry and the day of conception were arranged.
Pregnant mice were dissected at days (12th, 14th, and 18th) of gestation. Thirty placentas from mice on protein free
diet and fifteen placentas from mice on control diet, were taken, stained by haematoxylin and eosin and examined
under light microscope with screen. The following results are subsequently obtained:
1. Reduction in fetal number and weight of mice after protein malnutrition, in comparison to their
control at the same stage of gestation.
2. Reduction in placental weight of mice after protein malnutrition, in comparison to their control
at the same stage of gestation.
3. Reduction in the thickness of trophoblastic layers of placental barrier in mice after protein
malnutrition, which are measured by using light microscope with screen and scientific ruler.
4. Morphological changes showed thin placental barrier, with basophilic cytoplasm and
degenerated nuclei. Areas of degeneration infiltrated with phagocytic cells with increase in the
number and size of blood vessels were seen.
These changes may affect the placental function, which may be the main cause of decrease in fetal weight (intra
uterine growth retardation), placental weight and fetal number.