Differential gene expression in response to methoxychlor and estradiol through ERα, ERβ, and AR in reproductive tissues of female mice

Katrina M. Waters, Stephen Safe, Kevin W. Gaido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


The reproductive and developmental effects of 17β-estradiol (E2) and methoxychlor (MXC) observed in treated rodents appear to be linked to some unique but also overlapping patterns of gene expression. The MXC metabolite 2,2-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane (HPTE) was previously shown to have selective agonist activity through estrogen receptor α (ERα) and antagonist activity through ERβ and androgen receptor (AR). To discover gene families regulated by HPTE and E2, and to characterize similarities and differences in patterns of gene expression induced by these selective ER ligands, we analyzed tissues from mice treated for 3 days with a combined treatment of E2 and HPTE (E2 + HPTE), or the antiandrogen flutamide (FLU). RNA from uteri and ovaries was analyzed with cDNA microarrays and realtime RT-PCR. Results indicate that HPTE and E2 acted similarly to regulate most gene families in the uterus, which expresses predominantly ERα. However, in both the uterus and the ovary, there were a few genes that displayed differential patterns of gene regulation by E2 or HPTE treatment, presumably through ERβ, AR, or other unidentified pathways. In the uterus, progesterone receptor, ERα, AR, insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin-like growth factor binding protein 5, and clusterin mRNAs were significantly reduced with both E2 or HPTE treatments, whereas cathepsin B was induced. Conversely, in the ovary, induction of cathepsin B by E2 was reversed after cotreatment with HPTE, and ERβ expression was induced similarly by HPTE and FLU but not by E2. In addition, E2 uniquely regulated glutathione peroxidase 3, glutathione S-transferase, and cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxylase, with no effect of HPTE or FLU treatments. This analysis demonstrated several gene families that appear to be regulated in a ligand-specific pattern, which may explain the unique but overlapping reproductive tissue pathologies following exposure to E2 and MXC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Androgen receptor (AR)
  • Estrogen
  • Estrogen receptor α (ERα)
  • Estrogen receptor β (ERβ)
  • Gene expression
  • HPTE
  • Methoxychlor
  • Microarray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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