Diethylstilbestrol Versus Estradiol: INTRODUCTION(4)

Because few direct, in vivo comparisons of perinatal endocrine-disruptive potency have been made between the synthetic estrogen, DES, and the primary natural estrogen, E2, the archive includes tissues from groups of hamsters that were treated neonatally with each of the two estrogens. We have already used this archive for an extensive histo-morphological analysis in the uterus and a more preliminary analysis in the ovary. A key finding in both reproductive tract regions was that, at the same dose level, DES was much more potent than E2 as a neonatal ED. Evaluation of a similar archive of reproductive tract tissues from the male hamster demonstrated that DES was also more potent than E2 as a neonatal ED of the testis and seminal vesicle.

The present study represents a logical extension of the use of our tissue archive to investigate the endocrine-disruptive action of DES in the hamster cervix. It shows that 1) neonatal DES treatment does disrupt morphogenesis of the hamster cervix; 2) as previously found in the hamster uterus and ovary, DES was more potent than E2 as a neonatal disruptor of the hamster cervix; and 3) the cervical disruption phenomenon did not completely mimic the DES-initiation/E2-promotion profile observed in the hamster uterus.