Methoxychlor induces proliferation of the mouse ovarian surface epithelium

Daniel A. Symonds, Dragana Tomic, Kimberly P. Miller, Jodi A. Flaws

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the pesticide methoxychlor (MXC) has a variety of adverse effects on the female reproductive system, the effects of MXC on the ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) are unknown. Thus, this study tested the hypothesis that MXC alters the growth of the OSE. Mouse OSE cells were isolated by enzymatic digestion and cultured with vehicle, 3 μM of MXC, or 3 μM of 2,2-bis[p-hydroxyphenyl]-1,1,1,-trichloroethane (HPTE for 14 days. After culture, proliferation and apoptosis were assessed by measurement of cell density, immunohistochemistry, and real-time polymerase chain reaction. Cell density was 66% greater for MXC-treated cells and 95% greater for HPTE-treated cells than controls (p ≤ 0.05). The estrogen receptor blocker ICI 182,780 abolished MXC- and HPTE-induced increases in cell density. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) staining was positive in only 22 ± 2.3% of controls, compared to 35 ± 2.4% of MXC-treated cells and 40 ± 2.4% of HPTE-treated cells (p ≤ 0.05). The cell cycle regulators, cyclinD2 and cdk4, were significantly increased in MXC- and HPTE-treated cells compared to controls. The ApopTag assay demonstrated apoptotic cells in 4.8 ± 0.45% of controls, 2.2 ± 0.56% of MXC-treated cells, and 2.1 ± 0.33% of HPTE-treated cells (p ≤ 0.005). Expression of bcl-2 was significantly increased in MXC- and HPTE-treated cells, while bax was decreased in MXC- and HPTE-treated cells compared to controls. Collectively, these data indicate that MXC and HPTE stimulate OSE cell growth by increasing proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis. Further, since ICI 182,780 blocked MXC- and HPTE-induced OSE growth, these data suggest that the effects of MXC and HPTE on the OSE are mediated by estrogen receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-362
Number of pages8
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Methoxychlor
  • Ovarian surface epithelium
  • Proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'Methoxychlor induces proliferation of the mouse ovarian surface epithelium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this