Masculinization of the distal tubular and external genitalia in female sheep with prenatal androgen exposure

Lamm, C.G., Hastie, P.M. , Evans, N.P. and Robinson, J.E. (2012) Masculinization of the distal tubular and external genitalia in female sheep with prenatal androgen exposure. Veterinary Pathology, 49(3), pp. 546-551. (doi: 10.1177/0300985811419533) (PMID:21934102)

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Prenatal exposure to endogenous or exogenous androgens alters the development of the female reproductive tract. Although lesions in ovaries and external genitalia of androgenized female sheep have been reported, lesions of the tubular genitalia have not. Testosterone propionate (TP) or dihydrotestosterone (DHT) was administered by intramuscular injection twice weekly to 32 ewes from 30 to 90 days of pregnancy. The ewes lambed normally. The reproductive tracts from 24 treated and 13 control postpubertal female offspring were examined at 10 months of age. The ovaries, oviducts, and uteri were grossly and histologically normal in both TP- and DHT-exposed sheep. However, in the DHT-treated sheep, the uterus connected to a misshapen, saccular vagina that opened into the urethra; in the TP-treated sheep, it ended in a blind sac. In both TP- and DHT-treated sheep, the urethra was approximately 5 times longer than that of control sheep, and it resembled a male urethra with bilateral male accessory genital glands. The urethra terminated in a fully developed penis in both TP- and DHT-treated sheep, and a scrotal sac was present (without testes). These results show that prenatal exposure of female sheep to exogenous androgens results in masculinization of the tubular and external genitalia.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robinson, Dr Jane and Hastie, Professor Peter and Lamm, Dr Catherine and Evans, Professor Neil
Authors: Lamm, C.G., Hastie, P.M., Evans, N.P., and Robinson, J.E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Veterinary Pathology
Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.
ISSN (Online):1544-2217
Published Online:20 September 2011

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
404241Prenatal programming of the reproductive axis - the role of somatostatinJane RobinsonBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/D002214/1Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine