A cytomorphometric analysis of superficial vaginal cells in women in three groups of different types of hormonal concentration was made. There were 15 women in each group. Group I was studied during a natural cycle, group II under oral contraceptive therapy and group III during an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) stimulation protocol. Morphometric parameters were measured on an image analyser. The area, perimeter and several form factors were measured separately for nuclei and cytoplasm. The nucleus:cytoplasmic ratio was also determined. The cytoplasmic area was significantly reduced in group II and was associated with a statistically significant reduction of the nuclear area. The nucleus:cytoplasmic ratio appeared significantly increased in group II and reduced in group III. Low oestradiol impregnation obtained with an oral minidosed contraceptive interfered with vaginal cell maturation. High oestradiol concentrations obtained during IVF protocols induced marked nuclear pycnosis but did not induce supra-physiological cell enlargement. Maximal cell size is genetically regulated according to Driesch's law of volume invariance and hormonal over-stimulation has no effect on cell size. The nucleus:cytoplasmic ratio appears to be a powerful parameter reflecting the opposite effects of hormones on cell compartments.
Copyright (C) 1998, European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
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