Expression of the androgen receptor and 5α-reductase type 2 in the developing human fetal penis and urethra

Kun Kim, Wenhui Liu, Gerald R. Cunha, David W. Russell, Hongying Huang, Ellen Shapiro, Laurence S. Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Normal penile development is dependent on testosterone, its conversion via steroid 5α-reductase type 2 to dihydrotestosterone, and a functional androgen receptor (AR). The goal of this study was to investigate the distribution of AR and 5α-reductase type 2 in the developing human fetal external genitalia with special emphasis on urethra formation. Twenty fetal genital specimens from normal human males (12-20 weeks gestation) were sectioned serially and stained by avidin-biotinylated peroxidase complex method with antigen retrieval. Stained sections throughout male genital development documented the expression of AR and 5α-reductase type 2 in the phallus. Between 12 and 14 weeks of gestation, AR was localized to epithelial cells of the urethral plate in the glans, the tubular urethra of the penile shaft, and stromal tissue surrounding the urethral epithelium. In the fetal penis between 16 and 20 weeks gestation, the density of AR expression was greatest in urethral epithelial cells versus the surrounding stromal tissues. There was a characteristic pattern of AR expression in the glandular urethral epithelium between 16 and 20 weeks gestation. AR expression was greater along the ventral aspect of the glandular urethra than along the dorsal aspect of the urethral epithelium. The expression of 5α-reductase type 2 was localized to the stroma surrounding the urethra, especially along the urethral seam area in the ventral portion of the remodeling urethra. These anatomical studies support the hypothesis that androgens are essential for the formation of the ventral portion of the urethra and that abnormalities in either the AR or 5α-reductase type 2 can explain the occurrence of hypospadias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Volume307
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Penis
Androgen Receptors
Urethra
Oxidoreductases
Pregnancy
Epithelium
Epithelial Cells
Tissue
Hypospadias
Genitalia
Avidin
Dihydrotestosterone
Peroxidase
Androgens
Testosterone
Steroids
Antigens

Keywords

  • 5α-Reductase type 2
  • Androgen receptor
  • Fetal development
  • Human
  • Hypospadias
  • Penis
  • Urethra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Kim, K., Liu, W., Cunha, G. R., Russell, D. W., Huang, H., Shapiro, E., & Baskin, L. S. (2002). Expression of the androgen receptor and 5α-reductase type 2 in the developing human fetal penis and urethra. Cell and Tissue Research, 307(2), 145-153. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004410100464

Expression of the androgen receptor and 5α-reductase type 2 in the developing human fetal penis and urethra. / Kim, Kun; Liu, Wenhui; Cunha, Gerald R.; Russell, David W.; Huang, Hongying; Shapiro, Ellen; Baskin, Laurence S.

In: Cell and Tissue Research, Vol. 307, No. 2, 2002, p. 145-153.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kim, K, Liu, W, Cunha, GR, Russell, DW, Huang, H, Shapiro, E & Baskin, LS 2002, 'Expression of the androgen receptor and 5α-reductase type 2 in the developing human fetal penis and urethra', Cell and Tissue Research, vol. 307, no. 2, pp. 145-153. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004410100464
Kim, Kun ; Liu, Wenhui ; Cunha, Gerald R. ; Russell, David W. ; Huang, Hongying ; Shapiro, Ellen ; Baskin, Laurence S. / Expression of the androgen receptor and 5α-reductase type 2 in the developing human fetal penis and urethra. In: Cell and Tissue Research. 2002 ; Vol. 307, No. 2. pp. 145-153.
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