Fetal female rats are masculinized by male littermates located caudally in the uterus

Robert L. Meisel, Ingeborg L. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

116 Scopus citations

Abstract

Female rats are masculinized in utero by male littermates sharing the same uterine horn. Increased anogenital distances in neonatal females and mounting behavior in adult females are related to the presence of males on the caudal side of the females in the uterine horn. Contrary to current beliefs, interamniotic diffusion may not be responsible for the exchange of masculinizing agents among fetuses. Since uterine blood flow in the rat is from the direction of the cervix toward the ovary, masculinizing hormones secreted by fetal males may be carried via the uterine vasculature to female littermates located further downstream.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-242
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume213
Issue number4504
DOIs
StatePublished - 1981

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