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Open Access Dietary Phytoestrogens Accelerate the Time of Vaginal Opening in Immature CD-1 Mice

The purpose of the study reported here was to determine the effects of dietary phytoestrogens on the time of vaginal opening (VO) in immature CD-1 mice, and to correlate it with phytoestrogen and total metabolizable energy (ME) contents of the diet in an effort to determine the most appropriate diets(s) for comparing or evaluating the estrogenic or antiestrogenic activity of endocrine disruptor compounds (EDC). Mice were weaned at postnatal day (PND) 15 and fed the test diets from PND 15 to 30. Vaginal opening was recorded from PND 20 to 30. The phytoestrogen content of the diet was highly predictive (P < 0.0001) of the proportion of mice with VO at PND 24. Total ME content also was significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with time of VO, although this variable was somewhat less predictive than was phytoestrogen content. Time of VO in mice was significantly (P < 0.05) accelerated in mice fed diets high in phytoestrogens, compared with those containing low phytoestrogen content. It was concluded that: dietary daidzein and genistein can significantly (P < 0.01) accelerate the time of VO in CD-1 mice; the advancement in time of VO is more highly correlated with daidzein and genistein contents of the diets than with total ME content; advancement in the time of VO is a sensitive end point for evaluating the estrogenic activity of EDCs, and should be part of the standard protocol for evaluating EDCs. Phytoestrogen-free diet(s) containing the same amount of ME should be used in bioassays that compare the time of VO, or increases in uterine weight as end points for evaluating the estrogenic activity of an EDC.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Quality Assurance Laboratory, Comparative Medicine Branch, NIEHS, 111 T. W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709 2: Quality Assurance Laboratory, Biostatistics Branch, NIEHS, 111 T. W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709 3: Clinical Mass Spectrometry, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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