Summary. Pregnant mice were injected subcutaneously with diethylstilboestrol (DES: 10 μg/kg body weight in 0·1 ml corn oil) or corn oil alone on Day 15 or 16 of gestation (Day 1 = day of copulatory plug) and allowed to give birth. Female progeny from control and DES-exposed animals were superovulated with exogenous gonadotrophins at 6–8 weeks of age. In-vivo results indicated that the total number of ovulated ova, 2-cell embryos and blastocysts were significantly increased in DES-exposed progeny but that there was a decline in developmental potential from the ovulated ova stage to the blastocyst stage in these animals. However, there was no significant difference in the in-vitro development of 2-cell embryos to the blastocyst stage between control and DES-exposed animals. These results indicate that the ovaries of mice exposed in utero to DES are capable of responding to exogenous gonadotrophins and that second generation progeny have the potential for normal development to the early post-blastocyst stage of embryogenesis. The in-vivo decline in developmental potential may be attributable to reproductive tract abnormalities rather than ova/embryo defects.
Keywords: diethylstilboestrol; mouse; embryo; in vitro; development
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