Effects of neonatal steroids on male sex tissues

J. Rajfer, D. S. Coffey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The effects of neonatally administered sex hormones on the growth and hormone responsiveness of the sex accessory tissues of the adult male rat were investigated. If intact neonatal male rats are treated with estradiol dipropionate, the size of the ventral prostate in the adult animal at day 70 of age is less than 10 percent of the untreated control value. If androgens are administered to intact neonates, the size of the ventral prostate at day 70 is one-third to one-half of the untreated control values. The androgenic response of these abnormally small prostates was tested by treating these adult animals with testosterone propionate daily from 70 to day 83. The ventral prostates of the animals treated with estrogens in the neonatal period show a very limited response to exogenous androgens at adulthood. In contrast, the ventral prostates of the animals receiving testosterone propionate or dihydrotestosterone propionate in the neonatal period were fully responsive to exogenous androgens. In addition, the ability of the adult prostate to respond fully to androgens requires the presence of the testes in the neonatal period. Comparing neontal castrates with intact neonates, it was shown that the administration of androgen in the neonatal period was only partially effective in restoring the androgenic responsiveness of the adult ventral prostate. This suggests that other testicular factors, or the presence of testosterone at other time periods before the onset of puberty, may be necessary for the normal androgenic induced response of the adult sex accessory tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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