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. 2013 Nov;138:1-9.
doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2013.02.011. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Perinatal Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol Alters the Functional Differentiation of the Adult Rat Uterus


Perinatal Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol Alters the Functional Differentiation of the Adult Rat Uterus

Verónica L Bosquiazzo et al. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. .


The exposure to endocrine disrupters and female reproductive tract disorders has not been totally clarified. The present study assessed the long-term effect of perinatal (gestation+lactation) exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) on the rat uterus and the effect of estrogen replacement therapy. DES (5μg/kg bw/day) was administered in the drinking water from gestational day 9 until weaning and we studied the uterus of young adult (PND90) and adult (PND360) females. To investigate whether perinatal exposure to DES modified the uterine response to a long-lasting estrogen treatment, 12-month-old rats exposed to DES were ovariectomized and treated with 17β-estradiol for 3 months (PND460). In young adult rats (PND90), the DES treatment decreased both the proliferation of glandular epithelial cells and the percentage of glandular perimeter occupied by α-smooth muscle actin-positive cells. The other tissue compartments remained unchanged. Cell apoptosis was not altered in DES-exposed females. In control adult rats (PND360), there were some morphologically abnormal uterine glands. In adult rats exposed to DES, the incidence of glands with cellular anomalies increased. In response to estrogens (PND460), the incidence of cystic glands increased in the DES group. We observed glands with daughter glands and conglomerates of glands only on PND460 and in response to estrogen replacement therapy, independently of DES exposure. The p63 isoforms were expressed without changes on PND460. Estrogen receptors α and β showed no changes, while the progesterone receptor decreased in the subepithelial stroma of DES-exposed animals with estrogen treatment. The long-lasting effects of perinatal exposure to DES included the induction of abnormalities in uterine tissues of aged female rats and an altered response of the adult uterus to estradiol.

Keywords: 17β-estradiol; BrdU; CK; CT; DES; Diethylstilbestrol; E2; ERα; ERβ; GD; IOD; PND; PR; Rat; Steroid receptors; Uterine glands; Uterus; bromodeoxyuridine; cycle threshold; cytokeratin; diethylstilbestrol; estrogen receptor alpha; estrogen receptor beta; gestation day; integrated optical density; p63; postnatal day; progesterone receptor; smooth muscle α-actin; α-SMA.

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