Upper genital tract abnormalities in the Syrian hamster as a result of in utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol. II. Scanning electron microscope analysis of endometrium cell surfaces

Authors

  • Jacques Gilloteaux,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Microscopic Anatomy, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, Ohio 44272
    • Department of Anatomy, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, 4209 State Route 44, Rootstown, Ohio 44272, USA - (216) 325-2511
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  • Alan W. Steggles

    1. Department of Molecular Pathology, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, Ohio 44272
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Abstract

Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), we show that an in utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) will induce endometrial abnormalities postnatally. These changes are magnified when a subsequent postnatal DES treatment is given. More specifically, changes in cell surface morphology are associated with alterations in cell size and shape (from columnar to cuboid/squamous), and in microvilli and mucus secretion. Uteri from hamsters treated postnatally with DES and derived from normal (CD) or DES-treated mothers (DD) show that accumulated mucoid secretion products are not expelled in the uterine lumen but are “stored” in cystic dilated glandular spaces of the fibrocellular stroma of polyps and papillae filling the uterine lumen. Uteri from female hamsters that have been prenatally treated with DES (DC) show endometrial mucosal crypts containing mucus and other cell debris including migrating granulocytes. In all cases, DES-treated uteri show mucosal cell surface pleomorphism in the sequence DD > CD > DC Merocrine and/or cystic secretions were observed. Microvilli cover cell surfaces and include some rare and peculiar long microvillous growth. In contrast, DC hypoplastic uteri present no secretory activity. Structures similar to those described for CD uteri can be observed only after 250 days of age in DC uteri. This report confirms and complements previous observations, favoring the choice of the hamster as an animal mode for the study of endometrial carcinogenesis.

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