Background/Aim: Perinatal diethylstilbestrol (DES) treatment induces the polyovular follicle containing two or more oocytes in a follicle of mouse ovary through estrogen receptor (ER) β. The aim of the study was to investigate the direct effects of DES on the neonatal mouse ovary and the gene expression of activins. Materials and Methods: Ovaries from neonatal wild-type (WT) or ERβ- knockout (ERβKO) mice were organcultured in a serum-free medium with or without DES, and polyovular follicle induction and expression of activin signaling related genes were examined. Results: The polyovular follicle and cyst incidence in DES-treated organ-cultured ovaries from WT mice, but not from ERβKO mice, was significantly higher than that of control non-treated cultures. DES altered inhibin (Inh) a, Inhba and Inhbb expression in organ-cultured ovaries from C57BL/6J mice, while no change in Inha and an increase of Inhbb were observed by DES, in both WT and ERβKO mice. Conclusion: Alterations in activin signaling are involved in the polyovular follicle induction by DES.
- Estrogen receptor (ER) β.