Effects of neonatal DES exposure on c-fos and c-jun protooncogene expression

Permanent changes in the expression of estrogen-regulated protooncogenes, c-fos and c-jun genes, by neonatal DES exposure

2001 Study Abstract

Quantitative and cell-type-specific expression of c-fos and c-jun genes after 17beta-estradiol (E2) stimulation, was investigated in the uteri of neonatally diethylstilbestrol (DES)-exposed and ovariectomized adult mice (neoDES-mice), employing Northern blot analysis, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization.

The c-fos mRNA level before E2 injection (at baseline) was about 2.2-fold higher in neoDES-mice than in vehicle-treated control mice. In controls, E2 treatment transiently increased c-fos mRNA levels, showing a peak value (15.8-fold relative to the baseline) after 2 hours. In neoDES-mice, c-fos mRNA level reached a peak showing a 2.1-fold increase compared with its baseline value 1 hour after E2 injection.  Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization revealed that c-fos protein (Fos) and mRNA are induced in the epithelium and vascular endothelium in both groups. Most uterine epithelia of neoDES-mice revealed low sensitivity to the c-fos expression after E2 administration compared with those of vehicle-treated controls, whereas few epithelia showed high c-fos mRNA expression even at baseline.

The c-jun mRNA concentration in the neoDES-mice uteri at baseline was 70% of that in vehicle-treated controls. At 1 hour after E2 injection, c-jun mRNA levels increased 1.8-fold in controls and 1.3-fold in the neoDES-mice relative to each baseline value. There were no significant differences in the distribution pattern of c-jun protein (Jun) and mRNA in the uteri of either groups; E2 stimulated c-jun mRNA expression in the stromal and myometrial cells but suppressed it in the epithelial cells, whereas intensity of c-jun immunostaining increased in the three cell types.

The permanent changes in the expression of estrogen-regulated protooncogenes, c-fos and c-jun genes, by neonatal DES exposure may be responsible for the wide range of abnormalities in the genital tract of mature animals.

Sources and more information
  • Effects of neonatal diethylstilbestrol exposure on c-fos and c-jun protooncogene expression in the mouse uterus, Histology and histopathology, NCBI PubMedPMID: 11193187, 2001 Jan.
  • Mapping of c-fos mRNA expression featured image credit researchgate.
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