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.

Related Articles


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 January 26, 2015 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 January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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