Effects of low versus high doses

DNA methylation altered by fetal exposure to diethylstilbestrol in CD-1 mice

2002 Study Abstract

We examined the effects on female CD-1 mice of fetal exposure to low doses of the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES) (0.1 microg/kg/day) and the insecticide methoxychlor (MXC) (10 microg/kg/day) as well as 1000-fold higher doses: 100 microg/kg/day DES and 10,000 microg/kg/day MXC.

Pregnant females were administered these chemicals on gestation days 12-18. At 7-8 months of age, female offspring were ovariectomized and implanted for 7 days with a Silastic capsule containing estradiol.

Relative to controls, females exposed to the 0.1 microg DES dose showed significantly heavier uteri, while females exposed to the 100 microg DES dose showed significantly lighter uteri.

Females exposed prenatally to the 10 microg/kg dose of MXC had significantly heavier uteri relative to females exposed to the 10,000 microg/kg dose of MXC, but neither group differed significantly from controls.

Liver weight for females exposed to both doses of DES was significantly greater than controls.

Using a microarray approach to analyze DNA methylation, an increase in ribosomal DNA (rDNA) methylation was observed. Sequence data and Southern analysis indicate an increase in 18S rDNA and 45S pre-rDNA methylation in uterine samples exposed prenatally to low and high doses of DES.

We thus found opposite effects of fetal exposure to a low and a high dose of DES on the uterine response to estradiol (inverted-U dose-response relationship). In contrast, there was a monotonic dose-response relationship found for prenatal DES exposure on both liver weight and ribosomal DNA hypermethylation.

Sources and more information
  • Uterine responsiveness to estradiol and DNA methylation are altered by fetal exposure to diethylstilbestrol and methoxychlor in CD-1 mice: effects of low versus high doses, Toxicology and applied pharmacology, NCBI PubMed PMID: 12217638, 2002 Aug.
  • Low versus high featured image credit whyiodine.
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