Effects of impending ovarian failure induced by 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide on fertility in C57BL/6 female mice

Jamie R. Haas, Patricia J. Christian, Patricia B. Hoyer

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46 Scopus citations


Repeated daily dosing of mice with 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) causes a gradual onset of ovarian failure, providing a model for perimenopause. Because increasing numbers of women are delaying starting a family, infertility in aging women is of concern. This study was designed to determine the effects of impending ovarian failure on fertility in VCD-treated mice. Female C57BL/6J mice were dosed daily (17 d) with vehicle control or VCD (160 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) to deplete primordial follicles and then were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 was mated soon after dosing; group 2 was mated on day 20 after dosing, during impending ovarian failure. Fertility was evaluated on gestational day 16. In group 1, cycle length, pregnancy rate, and number of live fetuses did not differ between VCD-treated animals and controls, but VCD-treated mice required more matings to become pregnant and had more resorptions. In group 2, VCD-treated mice demonstrated proestrus and copulatory plugs, but only 1 animal became pregnant, and she had no viable fetuses. Ovaries from pregnant and nonpregnant controls contained similar numbers of follicles and corpora lutea. Ovaries from VCD-treated animals contained no follicles, and corpora lutea were seen only in pregnant animals. In VCD-treated mice mated soon after dosing, conception was more difficult and more resorbed fetuses were seen, whereas in those mated closer to impending ovarian failure, no successful pregnancies were achieved. These results demonstrate that VCD-treated mice can be used to model infertility in perimenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-449
Number of pages7
JournalComparative medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Veterinary


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