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Nucl Recept Signal. 2013 Aug 19;11:e001. doi: 10.1621/nrs.11001. eCollection 2013.

Androgen receptor (AR) pathophysiological roles in androgen-related diseases in skin, bone/muscle, metabolic syndrome and neuron/immune systems: lessons learned from mice lacking AR in specific cells.

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  • 1George Whipple Lab for Cancer Research, Departments of Pathology, Urology, Radiation Oncology, and the Wilmot Cancer Center, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA (CC, SY, SOL, T-MC) and Sex Hormone Research Center, China Medical University/Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan (CC).


The androgen receptor (AR) is expressed ubiquitously and plays a variety of roles in a vast number of physiological and pathophysiological processes. Recent studies of AR knockout (ARKO) mouse models, particularly the cell type- or tissue-specific ARKO models, have uncovered many AR cell type- or tissue-specific pathophysiological roles in mice, which otherwise would not be delineated from conventional castration and androgen insensitivity syndrome studies. Thus, the AR in various specific cell types plays pivotal roles in production and maturation of immune cells, bone mineralization, and muscle growth. In metabolism, the ARs in brain, particularly in the hypothalamus, and the liver appear to participate in regulation of insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis. The AR also plays key roles in cutaneous wound healing and cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis and abdominal aortic aneurysm. This article will discuss the results obtained from the total, cell type-, or tissue-specific ARKO models. The understanding of AR cell type- or tissue-specific physiological and pathophysiological roles using these in vivo mouse models will provide useful information in uncovering AR roles in humans and eventually help us to develop better therapies via targeting the AR or its downstream signaling molecules to combat androgen/AR-related diseases.

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