Neonatal diethylstilbestrol exposure disrupts female reproductive tract structure/function via both direct and indirect mechanisms in the hamster

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Alwis, Imala D.
Maroni, Dulce M.
Hendry, Isabel R.
Roy, Shyamal K.
May, Jeffrey V.
Leavitt, Wendell W.
Hendry, William J. III

Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.). 2011 Sep 24.


We assessed neonatal diethylstilbestrol (DES)-induced disruption at various endocrine levels in the hamster. In particular, we used organ transplantation into the hamster cheek pouch to determine whether abnormalities observed in the post-pubertal ovary are due to: (a) a direct (early) mechanism or (b) an indirect (late) mechanism that involves altered development and function of the hypothalamus and/or pituitary. Of the various disruption endpoints and attributes assessed: (1) some were consistent with the direct mechanism (altered uterine and cervical dimensions/organization, ovarian polyovular follicles, vaginal hypospadius, endometrial hyperplasia/dysplasia); (2) some were consistent with the indirect mechanism (ovarian/oviductal salpingitis, cystic ovarian follicles); (3) some were consistent with a combination of the direct and indirect mechanisms (altered endocrine status); and (4) the mechanism(s) for one (lack of corpora lutea) was uncertain. This study also generated some surprising observations regarding vaginal estrous assessments as a means to monitor periodicity of ovarian function in the hamster.

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