Immunohistochemical localisation of androgen receptor during sex-specific morphogenesis in the fetal mouse

Drews U., Sulak O., Oppitz M.

HISTOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY, vol.116, no.5, pp.427-439, 2001 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 116 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00418-001-0335-5
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.427-439
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: No


The distribution of androgen receptors (ARs) in paraffin serial sections of day 17 and day 18 male and female mouse embryos was investigated. In the cranial section of the genital tract AR expression was restricted to Wolffian structures while Mullerian ducts and surrounding mesenchyme were AR negative. In the fusion zone with the urogenital sinus the epithelial components of the vaginal bud were clearly distinguished by differential AR expression, which was faint in the Wolffian ducts, totally missing in the Wolffian ducts, and intense in the sinus ridges with the most intense expression in the morphogenetically active mesenchyme, indicating a new mechanism of negative control of vagina formation via androgens. Expression of ARs outside the genital tract was observed: (1) in loose interstitial mesenchyme extending into the retroperitoneal space up to the coeliac artery, indicating androgen effects during ascent of the kidneys and descent of intraperitoneal organs, (2) in the trigone of the bladder indicating androgen involvement in the development of the vesico-ureteral junction, and (3) in loose mesenchyme between striated muscle fibres and around pelvic skeletal elements, indicating mediation of androgen effects on the musculoskeletal system via loose mesenchyme.