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Open Access Characterization of Cyclicity and Hormonal Profile with Impending Ovarian Failure in a Novel Chemical-Induced Mouse Model of Perimenopause

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4-Vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) causes early, gradual ovarian failure in mice because it specifically targets small pre-antral ovarian follicles. The period between loss of these follicles and ovarian failure is analogous to perimenopause in women. We sought to characterize the period of onset of ovarian failure in VCD-treated mice in regard to estrous cycle length and hormonal changes. Female C57Bl/6 mice (age, 28 days) were dosed daily for 15 days with VCD (160 mg/kg intraperitoneally) to cause early ovarian failure or with vehicle only (control animals). Cycle length was monitored by vaginal cytology. Plasma levels of 17-estradiol (E2), progesterone (P4), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in control and VCD-treated animals were measured during proestrus of cycles 1 through 12. Cycle length (mean, 5.8 days) did not differ between groups for cycles 1 through 4. In contrast, cycle length during cycles 5 through 12 was increased (mean length, 10.9 days; P < 0.05 versus control) in VCD-treated animals, which also showed an apparent increase in plasma FSH levels. Plasma E2 and P4 at proestrus did not differ between groups during any cycle. Ovarian failure in VCD-treated mice was confirmed by histological evaluation on day 156 after onset of dosing, whereas control animals were still cycling. Therefore, despite compromised cycle length in VCD-treated mice, peak ovarian steroid production in preovulatory follicles at proestrus is adequate. These results demonstrate that the VCD-treated mouse can serve as an appropriate model to mimic hormonal changes during the perimenopausal transition in women.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Publication date: 01 December 2005

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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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