DES-induced genes and DES-repressed genes (DNA microarray analysis)

Global gene expression in mouse vaginae exposed to diethylstilbestrol at different ages

2006 Study Abstract

Estrogens regulate proliferation and differentiation of cells in target organs such as the female reproductive tract.

In mature mice, estrogens stimulate cell proliferation, whereas ovariectomy results in atrophy of the female reproductive tract. In contrast, perinatal exposure to estrogens, including diethylstilbestrol (DES), induces persistent, ovary-independent vaginal stratification and cervico-vaginal tumors later in life.

These effects are due to altered cell fate following DES exposure during a critical developmental period. The detailed mechanisms underlying the reversible and irreversible cell proliferation in vaginae induced by DES at different ages has not been clarified.

Therefore, we examined differences in gene expression pattern using DNA microarray analysis in mouse vaginae 6 hrs after a single injection of 2 mug DES per gram of body weight, and proliferation of vaginal epithelial and stromal cells 24 hrs after the injection at postnatal days (PNDs) 0, 5, 20, and 70.

After DES stimulation, vaginal epithelial and stromal cells showed cell proliferation at PNDs 20 and 70, and at PNDs 0 and 5, respectively. DNA microarray analysis exhibited 54 DES-induced genes and 9 DES-repressed genes in vaginae at PND 0, whereas more than 200 DES-induced genes were found in vaginae at PNDs 5 and 20, and 350 genes at PND 70. Clustering analysis of DES-induced genes in the vaginae at different ages revealed that genes induced by DES at PND 5 were closer to the adult type than that of PND 0. Genes related to keratinocyte differentiation, such as Gadd45alpha, p21, 14-3-3 sigma, small proline-rich protein 2f (Sprr2f), and Krupple-like factor 4 (Klf4), were induced by DES. The number of DES-induced genes during the critical period, PND 0, was smaller than those found after the critical period.

These results give insight toward understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the critical period in mouse vaginae.

Sources and more information
  • Global gene expression in mouse vaginae exposed to diethylstilbestrol at different ages, Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.)., NCBI PubMed PMID: 16636312, 2006 May.
  • DES-regulated miRs and their association with functional networks and various pathways. DES-induced upregulated or downregulated (more than a 1.5-fold change) miRs were analyzed using IPA software and database of Ingenuity Systems (QIAGEN). The data presented in the graph demonstrate various pathways regulated by DES-induced miRs. Featured image credit molpharm.

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