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Date of Award



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Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Biology




"Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic estrogen used in the United States from 1938-1971 for the prevention of preterm birth. It has been shown to cause structural changes to the myometrium of mice and humans, as well as gross anatomical malformations, adenocarcinoma, and infertility in both male and female offspring. My study focused on DES-induced structural changes of the myometrium in mice and related them to uterine contractility (strength, duration, and rate) in Balb/c mice treated with 1.0 [micro]g DES or a placebo during a critical period of reproductive development from birth through two days old. At 30 days of age, uteri were removed and gross contractility was measured with a force transducer under normal conditions and in the presence of oxytocin to mimic parturition. Histological preparations showed a significant increase in thickness of inner circular myometrium (p=0.002, [alpha]=0.006), but no significant change in thickness of the outer longitudinal myometrium (p=0.02) in the uteri of mice treated with DES compared to the control uteri. However, there was no significant difference for the total myometrial thickness or any of the variables testing uterine contractility in mice. Further studies at the muscular and cellular levels, along with testing of other estrogenic compounds, would be of value to this area of research"--Document.


Typescript. Vita.