Document Type


Publication Date



Sex hormones exert a wide influence on several systems of the human body, especially in women, who undergo intense changes in the trans and postmenopausal periods. Different experimental models are used to mimic these conditions; however, the impact on hormonal profile may be different. This study aimed to analyze and compare vaginal cytology of different post-estropausal mice models, along with their microscopical ovarian features. Forty-six C57BL/6J female mice with the ages of 4, 6 and 18 months at the beginning of the experiment, weighing about 25–28 grams, constituted five groups: NC–(negative control) animals with no treatment, OVX-SHAM—sham ovariectomized, OVX–ovariectomized, VCD–medicated with 160 mg/kg/day of 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide via IP for 20 consecutive days, and Aged–senescent mice under physiological estropause. Euthanasia was performed at different periods for the removal of the ovaries, and after diestrus was confirmed by vaginal cytology for 10 consecutive days. For daily vaginal cytology, morphological and histomorphometric microscopic analyzes were performed. Aged mice presented significant increased neutrophils when compared to VCD group, as well as increased cornified epithelial cells when compared to OVX mice, and also increased nucleated epithelial cells when compared to VCD and OVX. NC and OVX-SHAM ovaries presented innumerous follicles at different stages of development, while VCD showed marked follicular atresia, depleted of primordial or developing follicles and a predominance of interstitial cells. The ovaries of aged mice were predominantly constituted by corpus luteum degenerated into corpus albicans, with rare antral follicles. All analyzed models led to different permanent diestrus profiles caused by each model, as indicated by ovarian features. This should be carefully considered when choosing a post-estropausal experimental model, in order to better correlate this challenging phase of female’s life with physiological/pathological conditions.


© 2023 Zucon Bacelar et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

PLoS One

Academic Level




Included in

Podiatry Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.