Estrogen Receptor-α mediates DES-induced Feminization of the Seminal Vesicle in Male Mice

These data suggest that DES-induced SV toxicity and feminization are primarily mediated by Estrogen Receptor-α; however, some aspects of androgen response may require the action of ERβ

Abstract

image of PubMed NCBI The Endocrine Society logo
Feminization of the male mouse reproductive tract after prenatal exposure to Diethylstilbestrol.

BACKGROUND:
Studies have shown that perinatal exposure to the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) leads to feminization of the seminal vesicle (SV) in male mice, as illustrated by tissue hyperplasia, ectopic expression of the major estrogen-inducible uterine secretory protein lactoferrin (LF), and reduced expression of SV secretory protein IV (SVS IV).

OBJECTIVES:
The present study was designed to evaluate the role of the estrogen receptor (ER) in this action by using ER-knockout (ERKO) mice.

METHODS:
Wild-type (WT), ERα-null (αERKO), and ERβ-null (βERKO) male mice were treated with either vehicle or DES (2 μg/day) on neonatal days 1-5. These mice were divided into two groups: In the first group, intact mice were sacrificed at 10 weeks of age; in the second group, mice were castrated at 10 weeks of age, allowed to recover for 10 days, treated with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or placebo, and sacrificed 2 weeks later. Body weights and SV weights were recorded, and mRNA expression levels of Ltf (lactoferrin), Svs4, and androgen receptor (Ar) were assessed.

RESULTS:
In DES-treated intact mice, SV weights were reduced in WT and βERKO mice but not in αERKO mice. DES-treated WT and βERKO males, but not αERKO males, exhibited ectopic expression of LF in the SV. DES treatment resulted in decreased SVS IV protein and mRNA expression in WT males, but no effect was seen in αERKO mice. In addition, DES-treated βERKO mice exhibited reduced Svs4 mRNA expression but maintained control levels of SVS IV protein. In DES-treated castrated mice, DHT implants restored SV weights to normal levels in αERKO mice but not in WT mice, suggesting full androgen responsiveness in αERKO mice.

CONCLUSIONS:
These data suggest that DES-induced SV toxicity and feminization are primarily mediated by ERα; however, some aspects of androgen response may require the action of ERβ.

Sources:
  • Estrogen receptor-α mediates diethylstilbestrol-induced feminization of the seminal vesicle in male mice, NCBI, PMID: 22275727, 2012 Apr;120(4):560-5. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1103678. Epub 2012 Jan 24.
  • Additional article information, full text PMC, /articles/PMC3339448/, Apr 2012; 120(4): 560–565. PDF
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

Have your say! Share your views

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s