Author(s): Medlock KL, Sheehan DM, Nelson CJ, Branham WS
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Abstract The neonatal rodent appears to be an appropriate animal model for estrogen toxicity in the developing reproductive tract. Newborn rats were treated with diethylstilbestrol (DES) at human therapeutic doses (approx 1 mg/kg) during two ontogenetic periods (postnatal days 1-5 and 1-25). Treatment on days 1-5 doubled uterine wt by day 5; however, these uteri failed to grow after discontinuation of DES treatment. In contrast, uterine wt was 4-fold higher and DNA content was 2-fold higher than controls on days 10-25 with continued DES treatment. Total uterine estrogen receptor levels, depressed 60\% by day 5 of DES treatment, partially recovered after discontinuation of DES treatment but remained 25\% below controls on day 25. Receptor levels following DES on days 1-25 decreased to about 15\% of the controls by day 15. Short-term DES treatment approximately halved uterine gland content while continued treatment almost completely inhibited gland appearance. DES effects on glands appear related to continued hypertrophy of the luminal epithelium, from which uterine glands are derived. Subsequent failure of uterine growth caused by DES treatment on days 1-5 is similar to clinical findings of hypoplastic uteri in DES-treated patients. Disruption of the normal ontogenetic patterns of estrogen receptor by DES may be involved. These data demonstrate abnormal patterns of growth, estrogen receptor levels and morphogenesis in uteri of rats treated postnatally with DES.
This article was published in J Steroid Biochem
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology