Effect of lindane on hormonal control of reproductive function in the female rat

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1989 Jul;99(3):384-94. doi: 10.1016/0041-008x(89)90148-8.


The effect of the gamma isomer of 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexachlorocyclohexane, lindane, on reproductive function in the female rat was examined in two experiments. In the first experiment, chronic treatment with 0, 5, 10, 20, and 40 mg/kg lindane delayed vaginal opening and disrupted ovarian cyclicity until approximately 110 days of age. Thereafter, regular ovarian cycles were present in the majority of females in all dose groups. When killed on the day of vaginal proestrus, the females receiving the two higher doses of lindane had smaller pituitary and uterine weights, lower serum and pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin, and higher pituitary follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations than the oil-treated control females. Serum estrogen concentrations were not different from controls in the 5 and 20 mg/kg groups, significantly greater than the controls in the 10 mg/kg group, and significantly less than the controls in the group receiving 40 mg/kg. In a second experiment, the uterine weight and pituitary hormone response of 28-day-old, lindane-treated females to a 10-micrograms injection of estradiol benzoate (EB) were investigated. The uteri of the lindane-treated prepubertal females were smaller than controls at 30 hr after EB injection. Furthermore, the EB-induced increase in serum luteinizing hormone, observed at 30 hr after EB injection, was lower in the lindane-treated animals. Similarly, the reduction in pituitary LH, FSH, and prolactin induced by EB was not as great in the lindane-treated animals as in the controls. Serum estrogen concentrations in the lindane-treated animals were not different from controls. These data indicate that lindane may effectively block the response of estrogen-dependent tissues to this ovarian steroid hormone and that this apparent antiestrogenic effect of lindane is responsible for the disturbances observed in the neuroendocrine control of ovarian function in the rat.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Estrogen Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane / toxicity*
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Reproduction / drug effects*
  • Vagina / drug effects


  • Estrogen Antagonists
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Estradiol
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone