Date of Award

Winter 12-1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Honors College Theses



Second Advisor

Dr. Joyce W. O'Rourke

Third Advisor

Dr. Beverly Wade


The compound 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) is a nonestrogenic compound that enhances reproduction. Decidualization, marked by the decidual cell reaction, is a process that causes the transformation of the uterine stromal cells into decidual cells. The purpose of the study was to determine the reproductive role of 6-MBOA during decidualization in rats exposed to a short photoperiod (8L: 16D), and a long photoperiod (16L: 8D). Decidualization was induced by surgical uterine scratch trauma unto the anti-mesometrial surface of the uterine epithelium on day 4 of pseudopregnancy (PPG) a reproductive state that precedes and converges into decidualization. Rats were treated with subcutaneous doses of 600 ug/kg of 6-MBOA for 4 days either during the predecided stage (Day 1-4) or the postdecided stage (Day 5-8). Rats were then sacrificed on day 9 of PPG, the day of maximal uterine growth, when endometrial tissue and trunk blook were collected for assays. Measured endpoints were: endometrial weight, serum progesterone by radioimmunoassay, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) by substrate zymography, pineal N-acetyltransferase (NAT) activity by radioisotope determination, and endometrial nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity by the conversion of [3H] arginine to [3H] citrulline. The results showed that 6-MBOA inhabited endometrial weight and serum progesterone levels during the short light photoperiod of the predecidual group. Pineal NAT activity showed marked increases with 6-MBOA treatment. However, endometrial NOS and MMPs were unaltered by the treatment. The significance of the results was that it showed that 6-MBOA had the ability to act as both a reproductive inhibitor, and this was dependent on the concentration used. Also, the mechanism of action of 6-MBOA was through the pathway involved in melatonin production.

Included in

Biology Commons