We have scrutinized the effects of the phytoestrogen genistein and three synthetic estrogen receptor agonists, 17 alpha-ethynylestradiol (EE), propylpyrazole-triol (PPT) and diarylpropionitrile (DPN) in the completely estrogen-free background of aromatase knockout (ArKO) mice by means of two routes of substance administration: oral via diet (per os; po) or subcutaneous injection (sc) with the intention to evaluate the ArKO mice as sensitive model organism for uterotrophic assays. Additionally, we were aiming to qualitatively analyze effects resulting from oral administration path, in particular for PPT and DPN. Therefore, we analyzed the resulting uterine wet weights (UWW) and epithelial heights as physiological endpoints of function as well as the gonadotropin levels. Moreover, the gene expression profiles of estrogen receptors as well as important uterine and ovarian estrogen-response genes were investigated by real-time PCR. The uterus of ArKO mice responded very sensitive upon the substitution with EE (sc 5 microg/kg BW; po 50 microg/kg BW) in a proliferative manner. This was evaluated inter alia by increased UWW and by up-regulation of the expression of proliferation-associated and estrogen-response genes. It is important to note, that ER alpha and ER beta-agonist, PPT and DPN respectively (po 5mg/kg BW and sc 0.5mg/kg BW), have only been used for sc applications so far. Here, effects resulting from oral application were qualitatively described and evaluated for their applicability. The UWW and expression of proliferation-associated genes were increased following both po and sc treatment with PPT. In contrast, DPN did not exert an increase of the UWW, but a significant decrease of proliferation-associated gene and protein expression. Additionally, a substantial hypoplasia was detectable in the uterine cross-sections of DPN-treated mice. On the other hand, the phytoestrogen genistein (sc 10mg/kg BW; po 70 mg/kg BW) did not cause detectable uterotrophic responses or large changes of uterine and ovarian gene expression profiles under the applied experimental conditions, but significantly reduced the elevated gonadotropin levels of ArKO mice. In summary, we showed the utility of ArKO mice to detect ER-specific effects, in particular those of PPT and DPN also when applied orally.