The effect of neonatal exposure to DES and o,p'-DDT on pituitary responsiveness to GnRH in adult castrated rats.
While exposure of vertebrates to estrogens during early development has been shown to alter adult reproductive behavior, neuroanatomy, and neurophysiology, effects on gonadotropin secretion have not been studied. We conducted the present studies to assess the effects of neonatal exposure to xenobiotic estrogens on luteinizing hormone secretion in castrated adult rats. Rat pups were injected with either corn oil, 1 micrograms diethylstilbestrol (DES), or 0.5 mg o,p'-DDT on postnatal days 1 to 10, and castration was performed on day 21. On day 42 of life, GnRH (50 ng/kg) was administered via right heart catheters, and blood was sampled for LH at 0, 5, 10, 15, and 30 min. Neonatal exposure to DES in both males and females significantly decreased basal and GnRH-induced LH secretion throughout the sampling period in castrated adults. o,p'-DDT significantly suppressed initial LH levels and blunted GnRH-induced release in males at the 5 min interval, while in females it had no effect. These data show that early exposure to environmental estrogens alters adult pituitary response to GnRH. Our results suggest that sexually distinct effects of environmental estrogens occur and can be readily demonstrated in this experimental model.
Faber, KA; Basham, K; Hughes, CL
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