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Prenatal and pubertal exposure to 17α-ethinylestradiol disrupts folliculogenesis and promotes morphophysiological changes in ovaries of old gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 March 2021

Vinícius Gonçalves de Souza
Institute of Health Sciences, Medicine Course, Federal University of Jataí, UFJ, Jataí, Goiás 75801-615, Brazil
Laura Borges Bandeira
Institute of Health Sciences, Medicine Course, Federal University of Jataí, UFJ, Jataí, Goiás 75801-615, Brazil
Nátaly Caroline Silva e Souza
Institute of Health Sciences, Medicine Course, Federal University of Jataí, UFJ, Jataí, Goiás 75801-615, Brazil
Sebastião Roberto Taboga
Department of Biology, Laboratory of Microscopy and Microanalysis, São Paulo State University – UNESP, São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo 15054-000, Brazil Department of Structural and Functional Biology, State University of Campinas – UNICAMP, Campinas, São Paulo 13083-970, Brazil
Tracy Martina Marques Martins
Institute of Health Sciences, Medicine Course, Federal University of Jataí, UFJ, Jataí, Goiás 75801-615, Brazil
Ana Paula Silva Perez
Institute of Health Sciences, Medicine Course and Graduate Program of Animal Bioscience, Federal University of Jataí, UFJ, Jataí, Goiás 75801-615, Brazil
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17α-Ethinylestradiol is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that make up most contraceptive pills and can be found in the environment. Exposure to ethinylestradiol in different development periods may promote changes in morphophysiological parameters of reproductive and endocrine organs. Considering that the effects of low doses (15 µg/kg/day) of ethinylestradiol in ovaries from 12-month-old female gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) were investigated. Four experimental groups used were control (without treatment), EE/PRE (treated from the 18th to the 22nd gestational day), EE/PUB (treated from the 42nd to the 49th day of life), and EE/PRE-PUB (treated in the both periods). The animals were euthanized at 12 months. Testosterone and 17β-estradiol levels were measured. The ovaries were stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin, Periodic Acid Schiff, and Gomori’s Trichome. The follicles, corpus luteum, interstitial gland, lipofuscin, ovarian epithelium, and tunica albuginea were analyzed. Estradiol was higher in EE/PRE and EE/PUB groups, while testosterone was higher only in EE/PUB group. The main changes in follicle count occurred in EE/PUB and EE/PRE-PUB groups, with higher primordial follicle count and lower maturation of follicles. The corpus luteum was more evident in EE/PRE group. No differences were found in atretic follicles count. A higher area occupied by interstitial gland cells and lipofuscin deposit in these cells was noted in EE/PUB and EE/PRE-PUB groups. Higher epithelium height and thicker tunic albuginea were showed in treated groups. These results suggest that exposure to doses of EE2 in prenatal and pubertal periods of the development leads to morphological changes in senile ovaries.

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© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press in association with International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

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Prenatal and pubertal exposure to 17α-ethinylestradiol disrupts folliculogenesis and promotes morphophysiological changes in ovaries of old gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus)
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Prenatal and pubertal exposure to 17α-ethinylestradiol disrupts folliculogenesis and promotes morphophysiological changes in ovaries of old gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus)
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Prenatal and pubertal exposure to 17α-ethinylestradiol disrupts folliculogenesis and promotes morphophysiological changes in ovaries of old gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus)
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