Estradiol-type activity of coumestrol in mature and immature ovariectomized rat uterotrophic assays

Environ Health Perspect. 2000 Jul;108(7):631-4. doi: 10.1289/ehp.00108631.


Makaverich et al. [Environ Health Perspect 103:574-581 (1995)] reported that the uterotrophic activity of the phytoestrogen coumestrol in the immature ovariectomized rat was atypical in that it was not associated with increased uterine hyperplasia and DNA content. We previously reported that coumestrol gave a typical estradiol-type uterotrophic response in the immature intact rat, yielding increases in uterine epithelial cell height, glandular formation, cell labeling, and DNA content. These papers did not answer the question of whether there is a basic difference between the ovariectomized and the intact rat uterotrophic assays. In this paper, we report that coumestrol gives a typical estradiol-type uterotrophic response in uterotrophic assays using immature intact, immature ovariectomized, and mature ovariectomized rats. We concluded that the uterotrophic activity of coumestrol is typical of the natural estrogen estradiol.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Coumestrol / pharmacology*
  • Culture Techniques
  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Hyperplasia
  • Ovariectomy
  • Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Uterus / cytology
  • Uterus / drug effects*


  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Coumestrol