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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effects of Oral Uptake of the Chemosterilant 4-Vinylcyclohexene Diepoxide in Wild House Mice, Mus domesticus


The chemical 4-vinylcylcohexene diepoxide (VCD) induces depletion of primordial follicles in the ovaries of laboratory mice after intraperitoneal treatment and leads to infertility. We assessed the oral uptake of a range of doses of VCD by wild house mice, Mus domesticus, in captivity. In Experiment 1, female mice (n = 8 per group) were presented with a daily dose of liquid emulsion containing different concentrations of VCD in a volume equivalent to 10% body weight for 5 days in the presence of ad libitum mouse chow and water. Body weight, body condition, and general health status of the mice were assessed daily. Mice were killed 17 days after cessation of dosing. Internal organs were examined for normality and ovaries were fixed for analysis of primordial follicle populations. Over the 5-day treatment period, 95-100% of mice consumed all their daily dose of VCD emulsion. There were no effects on body weight, general activity, or alertness of the mice. Primordial follicle populations showed dose dependent but variable levels of depletion. In Experiment 2, the highest, most palatable VCD dose (300 mg VCD/kg) or a control dose was presented to mice (n = 24-30 per group), daily for 5 days. At 10 days post treatment, males were introduced for 3 breeding rounds. The numbers of pups/litter and proportions of females producing litters for each breeding round was not different between groups. In Experiment 3, male mice were presented with this same VCD dose; assessment of their reproductive status at 7 and 15 days post treatment indicated no treatment effect on testis and epididymis weights. These experiments indicate that while some follicle depletion was achieved in females with the orally delivered VCD dose, this was insufficient to affect their fertility. Further studies will require presentation of higher doses of VCD and/or extended presentation of this chemosterilant.

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