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J Endocrinol. 1987 Jul;114(1):131-7.

Change of mosaic pattern by androgens during prostatic bud formation in XTfm/X+ heterozygous female mice.

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  • 1Zoological Institute, Faculty of Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The testicular feminization (Tfm) gene, which is characterized by a deficiency in androgen receptors, is located on the X-chromosome. Using steroid autoradiography, the mosaicism of the Tfm gene has been demonstrated in the androgen target tissues of XTfm/X+ heterozygous female mouse fetuses and the effects of androgens on the mosaic pattern analysed. In the mesenchyme of urogenital sinuses of wild-type female fetuses (X+/X+), more than 95% of the cells were androgen-receptor positive (labelled with [3H]testosterone) while in that of heterozygous fetuses (XTfm/X+), only half of the cells were receptor positive (Tfm gene inactive), and receptor-positive cells and -negative cells formed small irregular patches. When the heterozygous sinuses were cultured in vitro in the presence of androgens, the sinuses underwent male sexual development and formed epithelial buds (prostate gland rudiments) projecting into the surrounding mesenchyme. Autoradiographic analysis revealed that the mosaicism of the mesenchyme disappeared around the developing epithelial buds: almost all the mesenchymal cells in close vicinity to the buds were receptor positive while in the outer layers receptor-positive and -negative cells coexisted. The proportion of receptor-positive cells was greatly increased in the mesenchyme beneath the non-budding area of the sinus epithelium. This androgen-induced increase was observed before the onset of bud formation. The results obtained in the thymidine incorporation experiments suggest that the increase of receptor-positive cells beneath the sinus epithelium might be explained by the migratory behaviour of the androgen-incorporating cells rather than by their selective proliferation.

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