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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Mar;13(2):78-83.

The marsupial model for male phenotypic development.

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Department Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas TX 75390-8857, USA.


In all mammals, androgen formed in the developing testes is responsible for the aspects of male development in which the Wolffian ducts, urogenital sinus and urogenital tubercle are transformed into the epididymis/vas deferens, prostate and penis. That these events take place after birth in the marsupial makes it possible to examine male phenotypic development during pouch life. In the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, the testicular androgen 5 alpha-androstane-3 alpha,17 beta-diol (5 alpha-adiol) is formed in the developing testis, is secreted into plasma and has the capacity to virilize female young pouch when administered exogenously. 5 alpha-Adiol is formed by immature testes in many species and appears to act in target tissues once it has been converted to dihydrotestosterone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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