Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 316, Issue 1, pp 131–139 | Cite as

Neonatal estrogenization leads to increased expression of cellular retinol binding protein 2 in the mouse reproductive tract

  • Manabu MatsudaEmail author
  • Fujiko Masui
  • Takao Mori
Regular Article


Exposure to estrogenic substances during a time window, the so-called “critical period,” in perinatal life causes an irregular development of the genital tract that leads to ovary-independent proliferation and cornification in the vaginal epithelium in mice. We have previously demonstrated that retinol inhibits the irreversible effects of estrogen on the vagina. Here, mice kept in a vitamin-A-deficient condition during perinatal life were shown to be more sensitive to the harmful effects of estrogen. In addition, expression of mRNA for retinol binding protein type 2 (CRBP2), a “small intestine-specific” cytosolic protein that captures intracellular retinal and retinol, was detected in the vaginal epithelium. Induction of increased expression of CRBP2 mRNA by estrogen was also evident in the uterus and epididymis. Both estradiol-17β and diethylstilbestrol markedly increased the tissue content of CRBP2 mRNA in the vagina and uterus during the neonatal “critical period” but not after 15 days of age. These results taken together imply that estrogen disrupts the local vitamin A balance by an induction of CRBP2 gene expression in the epithelium in the developing mouse genital tract, and that retinoid imbalance may contribute to the genesis of irreversible effects of estrogen on the vagina.


Cellular retinol binding proteins Estrogen Endocrine disruption Vitamin A Genital tract Mouse (SHN) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

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