Developing a laboratory animal model for perinatal endocrine disruption: the hamster chronicles

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Hendry, William J. III
Sheehan, Daniel M.
Khan, Shafiq A.
May, Jeffrey V.

Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.). 2002 Oct; 227(9): 709-23.


At the biomedical, regulatory, and public level, considerable concern surrounds the concept that inappropriate exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, especially during the prenatal and/or neonatal period, may disrupt normal reproductive tract development and adult function. The intent of this review was to 1. Describe some unique advantages of the hamster for perinatal endocrine disruptor (ED) studies, 2. Summarize the morphological and molecular consequences of exposure to the established perinatal ED, diethylstilbestrol, in the female and male hamster, 3. Present some new, histomorphological insight into the process of neonatal diethylstilbestrol-induced disruption in the hamster uterus, and 4. Introduce recent efforts and future plans to evaluate the potency and mechanism of action of other putative EDs in the hamster experimental system. Taken together, the findings indicate that the hamster represents a unique and sensitive in vivo system to probe the phenomenon of endocrine disruption. The spectrum of candidate endpoints includes developmental toxicity, neoplasia, and more subtle endpoints of reproductive dysfunction.

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