Novel, Low Cost, Highly Effective, Handmade Steroid Pellets for Experimental Studies

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The basic component of Silastic® glue (Dow Corning) used to prepare Silastic® pellets is polydimethylsiloxane. This compound is also present in other commercial adhesives such as FASTIX® (Akapol SA) that are available in any store for that category. In the present study we developed low cost, easy to prepare handmade steroid pellets (HMSP) by mixing 17β-estradiol, progesterone or other synthetic steroids with FASTIX® adhesive. We assessed serum levels of 17β-estradiol, progesterone, prolactin and luteinizing hormone in ovariectomized mice treated for 24 and 48 h or 7, 14 and 28 days with 20 µg or 5 mg of 17β-estradiol or 5 mg progesterone HMSP. We found a time dependent and significant increase in the levels of both natural hormones, and a downregulation of serum luteinizing hormone levels, while both 17β-estradiol doses increased serum prolactin. Uterine weights at sacrifice and histological examination of the uteri and the mammary glands correlated with estrogen or progestin action. Finally, we evaluated the biological effects of HMSP compared to commercial pellets or daily injections in the stimulation or inhibition of hormone dependent mammary tumor growth, and found that HMSP were as effective as the other methods of hormone administration. These data show that HMSP represent a useful, low cost, easily accessible method for administering steroids to mice.




Sahores, A., Luque, G. M., Wargon, V., May, M., Molinolo, A., Becu-Villalobos, D., … Lamb, C. A. (2013). Novel, Low Cost, Highly Effective, Handmade Steroid Pellets for Experimental Studies. PLoS ONE, 8(5).

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