Effect of androgen treatment during foetal and/or neonatal life on ovarian function in prepubertal and adult rats

Tyndall, V., Broyde, M., Sharpe, R., Welsh, M., Drake, A.J. and McNeilly, A.S. (2012) Effect of androgen treatment during foetal and/or neonatal life on ovarian function in prepubertal and adult rats. Reproduction, 143(1), pp. 21-33. (doi: 10.1530/REP-11-0239)



Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/REP-11-0239


We investigated the effects of different windows of testosterone propionate (TP) treatment during foetal and neonatal life in female rats to determine whether and when excess androgen exposure would cause disruption of adult reproductive function. Animals were killed prepubertally at d25 and as adults at d90. Plasma samples were taken for hormone analysis and ovaries serial sectioned for morphometric analyses. In prepubertal animals, only foetal+postnatal and late postnatal TP resulted in increased body weights, and an increase in transitory, but reduced antral follicle numbers without affecting total follicle populations. Treatment with TP during both foetal+postnatal life resulted in the development of streak ovaries with activated follicles containing oocytes that only progressed to a small antral (smA) stage and inactive uteri. TP exposure during foetal or late postnatal life had no effect upon adult reproductive function or the total follicle population, although there was a reduction in the primordial follicle pool. In contrast, TP treatment during full postnatal life (d1-25) resulted in anovulation in adults (d90). These animals were heavier, had a greater ovarian stromal compartment, no differences in follicle thecal cell area, but reduced numbers of anti-Mullerian hormone-positive smA follicles when compared with controls. Significantly reduced uterine weights lead reduced follicle oestradiol production. These results support the concept that androgen programming of adult female reproductive function occurs only during specific time windows in foetal and neonatal life with implications for the development of polycystic ovary syndrome in women.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Society for Reproduction and Fertility’s Re-use Licence which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Welsh, Dr Michelle
Authors: Tyndall, V., Broyde, M., Sharpe, R., Welsh, M., Drake, A.J., and McNeilly, A.S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Reproduction
Publisher:Society for Reproduction and Fertility
ISSN (Online):1741-7899
Published Online:20 October 2011
First Published:First published in Reproduction (2012) 143: 21–33
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record