Effects of Phytoestrogens on LH and FSH in Male Rats

Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Christopher Pearl

Second Advisor

Douglas Coulter

Third Advisor

Christine Byrd-Jacobs


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of phytoestrogens on luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Phytoestrogens are found in soybean based foods. The rats in a previous study were fed varying amounts of phytoestrogens, euthanized, and their pituitaries were preserved for further research, which is what was used in this study. In the previous study there was an increase in spermatogenesis for the low and high phytoestrogen diet group compared to the pre-treatment and medium group. The LH and FSH levels in the pituitaries were measured and the results were then analyzed to see if there was a correlation in LH and FSH levels to the phytoestrogen diet groups. A coomassie stain was done to ensure that the differences that were seen between the groups were because of varying amounts of phytoestrogens and not varying amounts of protein being loaded into the electrophoresis gels. There was no difference measured in any of the phytoestrogen diet groups for LHf3 and LH dimer. There was a difference between the pre-treatment and medium phytoestrogen diet group, as well as between the medium and low phytoestrogen diet groups, for FSHf3. For FSH dimer, there was a difference between the pre-treatment and high phytoestrogen diet group. From these results it can be concluded that the differences observed in spermatogenesis between the varying phytoestrogen diet groups could be caused by differences in FSH, but LH does not appear to be involved.


Restricted per author.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted

This document is currently not available here.