Testosterone Levels and Development of the Penile Spines and Testicular Tissue during the Postnatal Growth in Wistar Rats


Aim of Study: Gonadal hormones exert a profound influence on the development, structure and function of the sexual organs. The testosterone is one of the androgens that plays an essential role in the development of sexual organs in male mammals. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to evaluate the testosterone levels and developmental pattern of the penile spines and seminiferous tubules during early postnatal life of Wistar rats. Methods and Materials: At 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56, 63 and 70 days after birth, penile and testicular tissues of male rats were dissected out and fixed for histological study and plasma testosterone levels were determined using high resolution chromatography. Results: An increase in the number of penile follicles, primarily in the distal region of the penis, was observed from postnatal days 14 to 42, followed by a gradual decrease. Penile spines were absent from birth until the first growth peak, which was observed at 42 postnatal days. Both testicular weight and the area of seminiferous tubules showed gradual increases before achieving their highest values at 42 postnatal days. Similarly, a gradual increase in testosterone levels was detected from day 28, with a peak at 42 postnatal days. Conclusions: These data show a temporal association between the development of the penile spines and testicular tissue with gradual increases in testosterone levels. These results may contribute to a better understanding of the behavioral, hormonal and morphological changes underlying sexual maturation in male rats.

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M. Silva, R. Villaseñor, S. Márquez, M. González, H. Jaime, X. García and J. Montiel, "Testosterone Levels and Development of the Penile Spines and Testicular Tissue during the Postnatal Growth in Wistar Rats," Advances in Sexual Medicine, Vol. 3 No. 3A, 2013, pp. 1-9. doi: 10.4236/asm.2013.33A001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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