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The effects of pre- and postnatal exposure to the nonsteroidal antiandrogen flutamide on testis descent and morphology in the Albino Swiss rat

  • NORMADIAH M. KASSIM (a1), S. W. McDONALD (a1), O. REID (a1), N. K. BENNETT (a1), D. P. GILMORE (a1) and A. P. PAYNE (a1)...

Abstract

Exposure of male Albino Swiss rats to the nonsteroidal antiandrogen flutamide during the period from gestational day (d) 10 to birth resulted in feminisation of the external genitalia and the suppression of growth of the male reproductive tract. In adulthood, testes were found to be located in diverse positions. True cryptorchidism occurred in 10% of cases, whereas 50% of testes descended to the scrotum and 40% were located in a suprainguinal ectopic region. Varying degrees of tubule abnormality were seen in the testes of flutamide-treated animals, ranging from completely normal tubules with full spermatogenesis (and the expected frequency of the stages of spermatogenesis) to severely abnormal tubules lined with Sertoli cells only. For each individual testis, the overall severity of tubule damage was strongly correlated with its adult location, with intra-abdominal testes worst affected and scrotally-located testes least; only the latter contained normal tubules. Similarly, intra-abdominal testes were the smallest in weight and contained the least testosterone. By contrast, postnatal treatment of male rats with flutamide from birth to postnatal d 14 did not impair development of the external genitalia, the process of testicular descent or adult spermatogenesis. These findings confirm that androgen blockade during embryonic development interferes with testicular descent but also demonstrate that (1) prenatal flutamide treatment per se has a detrimental effect on adult testis morphology but (2) the degree of abnormality of the testes is strongly influenced by location.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Professor Anthony P. Payne, Laboratory of Human Anatomy, IBLS, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, United Kingdom. Fax: 0141–330 4299; E-mail: A.Payne@bio.gla.ac.uk

Keywords

The effects of pre- and postnatal exposure to the nonsteroidal antiandrogen flutamide on testis descent and morphology in the Albino Swiss rat

  • NORMADIAH M. KASSIM (a1), S. W. McDONALD (a1), O. REID (a1), N. K. BENNETT (a1), D. P. GILMORE (a1) and A. P. PAYNE (a1)...

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