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J Endocrinol. 1987 Nov;115(2):241-6.

Sex-related differences in renal size in mice: ontogeny and influence of neonatal androgens.

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  • 1Physiologie Comparée et Endocrinologie, CNRS UA 360, Université de Clermont II, Aubière, France.


Kidneys of adult male mice are larger than those of females because of both cellular hyperplasia and hypertrophy. Administration of testosterone to adult female mice induced cellular hypertrophy but not hyperplasia, so that the weight of the kidney remained smaller than in male mice. The sexual dimorphism in kidney size is not congenital but programmed by neonatal endogenous androgens and expressed between 30 and 40 days of age. Treatment of newborn males with cyproterone acetate and of newborn females with testosterone induced female and male patterns of renal growth respectively. It appears that neonatal endogenous androgens are required to induce the characteristic cellular hyperplasia of the kidneys of male mice. Manipulation of androgen levels during neonatal and prepubertal life was found to affect the growth response of the kidney to androgens in adult male and female mice.

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