Prostaglandins, masculinization and its disorders: effects of fetal exposure of the rat to the cyclooxygenase inhibitor- indomethacin

Afshan Dean, William Mungall, Chris McKinnell, Richard M Sharpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent studies have established that masculinization of the male reproductive tract is programmed by androgens in a critical fetal 'masculinization programming window' (MPW). What is peculiar to androgen action during this period is, however, unknown. Studies from 20 years ago in mice implicated prostaglandin (PG)-mediation of androgen-induced masculinization, but this has never been followed up. We therefore investigated if PGs might mediate androgen effects in the MPW by exposing pregnant rats to indomethacin (which blocks PG production by inhibiting cyclooxygenase activity) during this period and then examining if androgen production or action (masculinization) was affected. Pregnant rats were treated with indomethacin (0.8 mg/kg/day; e15.5-e18.5) to encompass the MPW. Indomethacin exposure decreased fetal bodyweight (e21.5), testis weight (e21.5) and testicular PGE2 (e17.5, e21.5), but had no effect on intratesticular testosterone (ITT; e17.5) or anogenital index (AGI; e21.5). Postnatally, AGI, testis weight and blood testosterone were unaffected by indomethacin exposure and no cryptorchidism or hypospadias occurred. Penis length was normal in indomethacin-exposed animals at Pnd25 but was reduced by 26% (p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e62556
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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