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Horm Metab Res. 1991 Apr;23(4):149-54.

Effect of androgen insensitivity on diabetogenesis in db/db male mice with testicular feminization (Tfm).

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  • 1Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine.


In C3H mice, a major component of susceptibility to the diabetogenic action of an obesity mutation (diabetes, db) is male gender associated. We tested whether increased male susceptibility was an androgen receptor mediated process. C3H.SW/Lt-derived db/db males were rendered androgen-receptor function-deficient by introducing the testicular feminization (Tfm) mutation of the X-linked androgen receptor gene. The db/db Tfm/Y males (phenotypically female in appearance) developed severe diabetes indistinguishable from that observed in standard db/db X + Y males. Castration of standard C3H.SW/Lt-db/db males (producing mutants with normal androgen receptors but reduced serum testosterone) also failed to block the gender-enhanced susceptibility. In contrast, female db/db littermates exhibited a milder hyperglycemia, and were more resistant to pancreatic beta cell necrosis and islet atrophy than any of the groups of db/db males. Although these data indicated that male-enhanced sensitivity to diabetogenic stress was independent of circulating androgens, the possibility that the gender dimorphism is predicated upon tissue ratios of active estrogens to androgens in glucose-producing tissues such as liver is discussed.

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