Effects of perinatal ethinyl estradiol exposure in male and female Wistar rats

Karen Mandrup, Pernille Rosenskjold Jacobsen, Louise Krag Isling, Marta Axelstad Petersen, Karin Dreisig Sørensen, Niels Hadrup, Anne Marie Vinggaard, Ulla Hass, Julie Boberg

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Perinatal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals with estrogenic activity can adversely affect reproductive development, but few studies evaluating estrogen-sensitive endpoints have been performed in Wistar rats. Therefore, time-mated Wistar rats (n=10) were gavaged during gestation and lactation with 0, 5, 15 or 50μg/kg bw/day of ethinyl estradiol.This potent estrogen was found to induce an increased number of nipples and reduced ovary weight in female offspring. Malformations of female genitalia were found in young as well as adult offspring, as an increased AGD was seen at birth and a deeper urethral slit length was seen in adulthood. In prepubertal male offspring, estrogen-regulated gene expression in ventral prostate was increased dose-dependently and a decreased ventral prostate weight was seen at 15μg/kg.Female external sexual characteristics and prostate development were found to be targets for exposure to estrogenic compounds and may be of interest in studies on estrogenic environmental compounds.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Pages (from-to)180-191
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Endocrine disruption
  • Estrogen
  • Anogenital distance
  • Nipples
  • Mammary gland
  • Gene expression
  • Onset of puberty
  • Genital malformations


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