This study examined the effect of constant illumination on the placental structure of rats, addressing morphological, morphometric and immunohistochemical parameters. 20 albino rats were subjected to the following treatments: GI-12hL/12hE for 60 days and then mated; GII- dark for 60 days and then mated; GIII- constant illumination for 60 days and then mated and GIV- constant light for 60 days, mated and then treated with melatonin. The light stimulus was around 400 lux. Melatonin was administered in water (400 mg / ml ethanol). The results showed that GII had histologically trofospongio vacuolization of cells. Morphometrically, GIII presented a labyrinth layer reduction in the number of syncytial trophoblasts and greater maternal-fetal vasculature, hyperplasia and hypertrophy of trophoblast giant cells, a higher average of the total area of the placenta disk, but in the trofospongio layer, the trophoblast cells and syncytial trophoblasts did not differ between experimental groups. The placentas in GIV were similar to GI. Histochemically there were no changes in the collagen and elastic fibers, reticular and acidic glycosaminoglycans. In conclusion, the constant lighting promotes morphological and morphometric changes in the placenta in rats and may lead to functional reduction and restrictions on fetal growth. These changes are abolished by the melatonin replacement.
pineal; reproduction; pregnancy; rodents; photoperiod