Dose-dependent effects of exogenous gonadotrophins on the endometrium of the rat

  • B.A. Stein
  • B Kramer
  • G de Wet
  • L.A. van der Walt


We compared the serwn levels of oestrogen and progesterone and the endometrial morphology of normal pregnant rats at 5,5 days' gestation with those of pregnant rats given either low (10 IU) or high (20 IU) doses of two gonadotrophins: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and hwnan chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG). Evidence of ovarian hyperstimulation was observed in the high- but not the low-dose group; both treatment regimens caused significant changes in the endometrial surface, epithelial height, the microvillous border, the glycocalyx, the subepithelial stromal cells and the mitotic activity of the surface epithelial and stromal connective tissue cells. The effects of the highdose treatment were Inore severe than those of the low-dose treatment. The serum oestradiol and progesterone levels of the treated groups were not significantly different from those of the control group. The changes in the endometrium after both treatment regimens may interfere with normal trophoblastic-endometrial interactions and could influence the maintenance of pregnancy. This investigation demonstrated that even low doses of gonadotrophins, which do not cause obvious ovarian stimulation, affect uterine morphology. The findings haveimportant implications for in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer programmes.


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