DES exposure induces permanent changes in the c-fos expression pattern

Expression of c-fos and c-jun protooncogenes in the uteri of immature mice neonatally exposed to diethylstilbestrol

2003 Study Abstract

We studied the cell-type-specific and temporal expression of c-fos and c-jun protooncogenes after 17beta-estradiol (E2) stimulation in the uteri of immature 3-week-old mice neonatally exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES),  DES-mice, and the ontogenic expression of these genes in the uteri of DES-mice using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization.

A single E2 injection induced the transient and rapid expression of c-fos mRNA and c-Fos protein in the endometrial epithelium and endothelial cells of the blood vessels in both 3-week-old vehicle-treated controls and DES-mice; a peak of mRNA expression was 2 hours after E2 injection and that of protein expression was 2 to 3 hours after the injection. The expression of c-fos mRNA and protein after E2 stimulation was lower in the DES-mice than in the control animals. There were no significant differences in the c-jun expression patterns in both experimental groups before and after the E2 injection. The E2 injection transiently down-regulated the c-jun expression in the epithelium and up-regulated it in the stroma and myometrium. The uterine epithelium of DES-mice showed much stronger c-Jun immunostaining on days 4 and 10, compared with those of controls. Neonatal DES treatment reduced c-Jun immunoreactivity in the uterine epithelium on days 4 and 10, and increased the reaction in the stroma on day 4.

These results suggested that the neonatal DES treatment induces permanent changes in the c-fos expression pattern independent of the postpuberal secretion of ovarian steroids. The changes in the expression of c-fos and c-jun protooncogenes, particularly during postnatal development, are likely to play important roles in the production of uterine abnormalities in the DES-mice.

Sources and more information
  • Expression of c-fos and c-jun protooncogenes in the uteri of immature mice neonatally exposed to diethylstilbestrol, Histology and histopathology, NCBI PubMed PMID : 12507287, 2003 Jan.
  • DNA-binding domains from NFAT, Fos and Jun bound to DNA. From PDB entry 1A02 featured image credit wikipedia commons.
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