Urinary Sex Steroids during Sexual Development in Female Mice and in Proximate Novel Males Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The experiments described here were designed to determine whether males' capacity to accelerate female pubertal development is reflected in females' urinary steroid levels in mice, and whether steroids in males' urine are influenced by exposure to developing females. In the first experiment, measures from urine collected daily from female mice aged 31-59 days showed a gradual rise in 17beta-estradiol levels and a distinct linear rise in progesterone levels. In a second experiment, daily steroids were measured in females aged 30-42 days while they were either housed alone or underneath two novel outbred males. Females exposed to males showed accelerated development at day 43 in uterine weight, and to a lesser extent in ovarian and whole-body weights. Average steroid levels did not significantly differ between conditions, but intra-individual variance in estradiol measures was greater in male-exposed than in isolated females. Creatinine levels were higher in isolated females. Males exposed to developing females excreted higher levels of estradiol in their urine compared to isolated males. These data suggest that excreted steroids can reflect general pubertal development, but may not fully reflect substantial morphological impacts of exposure to novel males. Elevations of estrogen levels in males exposed to developing females could help to account for precocious puberty in such females.

publication date

  • August 2006