Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pinpointing When A Fetus Develops Male Genitalia, And Birth Defects Related To Male Sex Organs

Date:
March 18, 2008
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
New data has indicated that in rats, "male" hormones drive the decision to become a male during a window of time before male genitalia develop, and that blocking "male" hormones during this time caused male genitalia birth defects. These defects were associated with a decreased ano-genital distance, leading to the suggestion that measuring human neonatal AGD could provide a noninvasive method to predict those at risk of developing male genitalia birth defects.

New data has indicated that in rats, "male" hormones drive the decision to become a male during a window of time before male genitalia develop, and that blocking "male" hormones during this time caused male genitalia birth defects.

These defects were associated with a decreased ano-genital distance, leading to the suggestion that measuring human neonatal AGD could provide a noninvasive method to predict those at risk of developing male genitalia birth defects.

Cryptorchidism, the absence in the scrotum of one or both testes (usually because of the failure of the testis to descend), and hypospadias, the abnormal positioning of the opening of the urethra, are common birth defects of the male genitalia and are risk factors for the adult-onset disorders of low sperm count and testicular cancer.

Although it is known that "male" hormones, in particular testosterone, drive the pathway that leads to a fetus becoming a male (including the development of the male genitalia), the cause of defects in this process is unclear.

However, Michelle Welsh and colleagues at The Queen's Medical Research Institute, United Kingdom, have now determined that in rats, the "male" hormones drive the decision to become a male during a window of time before the male genitalia develop.

During this period of time, blocking the action of "male" hormones led to cryptorchidism and hypospadias, and these defects were associated with a decrease in the distance between the anus and the genitalia (AGD).

Based on the timing in rats, the authors believe that the equivalent window in humans is likely to be 8--14 weeks of gestation.

Furthermore, they suggest that measuring AGD in neonatal humans could provide a noninvasive method to predict neonatal and adult reproductive disorders (cryptorchidism and hypospadias, and low sperm count and testicular cancer, respectively).

Journal reference: Identification in rats of a programming window for reproductive tract masculinization, disruption of which leads to hypospadias and cryptorchidism. Journal of Clinical Investigation. March 12, 2008


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Pinpointing When A Fetus Develops Male Genitalia, And Birth Defects Related To Male Sex Organs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080313185758.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2008, March 18). Pinpointing When A Fetus Develops Male Genitalia, And Birth Defects Related To Male Sex Organs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080313185758.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Pinpointing When A Fetus Develops Male Genitalia, And Birth Defects Related To Male Sex Organs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080313185758.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins