Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name





Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is one of the synthetic estrogen available today for therapeutic use. It is also referred to as a carcinogenic agent, with a great number of side effects reported between maternal ingestion of DES during pregnancy, as a postovulatory agent to prevent implantation and possible occurrence of carcinoma in the progeny of women known to be aborterse. In the present study, experiments were done to determine the effects of DES on the estrogen titer of the maternal, fetal and neo-natal plasma ovarian homogenates of female Long-Evans rats. Adult and 30-day old rats were treated via stomach intubation with 35 mg/2cc/kg body wt of DES. The estrous cycle of the rats was monitored and vaginal smear cell counts were determined in 0.5 cc saline smear volume. Radioimmunoassay was used to determine the estradiol levels in the plasma and ovarian homogenates. Results showed no changes in the estrous cycle synchrony of the maternal rats, while the estrous cycle of the treated 30-dayold rats has synchronous. The vaginal smear cell count was significantly greater in the two groups of treated rats studied than in the controls. Comparing the mean estradrol value for the plasma and ovarian homogenates in the maternal rats, an obvious increase in the plasma E2 level was obtained as compared to small, decrease in the mean value of ovarian E2 level. There was no difference in the mean value of pooled ovarian homogenate E2 level of the control saline, control and DES-treated 19-1/2-day old rats. A significant decrease in the plasma E2 mean value of 30-day old treated rats was obtained when compared to both control groups. There was no significant increase in ovarian homogenate E2 level of both treated and the control groups. In light of these results, DES has a secondary effect, asynchronous cell proliferation in the vaginal epithelia leading to prolonged specific stages of the estrous cycle of the young adult female rats. Also, DES causes an increase in plasma E2 levels of treated maternal rats and a decrease in plasrna E2 levels of 30-dayold rats. Finally, DES has no effect on the estrogen level of the ovarian homogenates of the maternal, fetal and 30-clay-old young Long-Evans female rats.


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