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Endocrinology. 1985 Feb;116(2):807-12.

The development of a male pseudohermaphroditic rat using an inhibitor of the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase.

Abstract

Incomplete masculinization of the external genitalia occurred in male Sprague-Dawley rats treated with a potent inhibitor of enzyme 5 alpha-reductase at the critical period of sexual differentiation in utero. The studies were performed using the 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, 4-methyl-4-aza-5-pregnan-3-one-20[s] carboxylate, one of a series of aza steroids known to competitively inhibit the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase. The degree of inhibition of male external genital development was dependent upon the dose of the inhibitor, and at a dose of 36 mg/kg X day, there was complete feminization of the external genitalia of the male animal with a urogenital sinus and a pseudovagina. These studies provide conclusive evidence for the hypothesis that 5 alpha-reductase activity and dihydrotestosterone (17 beta-hydroxy-5 alpha-androstan-3-one) formation are essential for normal differentiation of male external genitalia. Epididymidis, vasa deferentia, and seminal vesicles were present at all doses of the inhibitor, suggesting testosterone dependency. However, confirmation of the testosterone dependency of Wolffian ductal differentiation awaits further studies, particularly comparison studies with the rabbit and dog, since Wolffian ductal differentiation in the rat, unlike the rabbit and dog, is not abolished with the antiandrogen, cyproterone acetate. The presence of prostatic buds, despite complete external genital feminization, was unexpected and suggests that these structures may have different thresholds of response for dihydrotestosterone. Prostatic differentiation may have a much lower threshold, requiring less dihydrotestosterone for differentiation.

PMID:
3967629
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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