Androgen receptor of rat penis is downregulated by androgen

K. K. Takane, F. W. George, J. D. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


To provide insight into the factors that control androgen receptor levels in rat penis, we assessed 5α-[3H]-dihydrotestosterone binding in low-salt [10 mM tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (Tris), 10 mM Na2M0O4] and high-salt (10 mM Tris, 10 mM Na2M0O4, 0.5 M KCl) extracts of rat penis using sucrose density gradients. Total receptor content decreased from ~ 729 ± 114 fmol/g tissue at 3 wk of age to < 50 fmol/g tissue at 10 wk of age. Castration of 3-wk-old rats prevented penile growth and the age-related decline in penile androgen receptor. Treatment of 3-wk-old castrated rats with 5α-dihydrotestosterone caused an acceleration in the decline in receptor levels compared with intact animals. Castration of 10-wk-old rats (after androgen receptor levels had decreased) did not result in an increase in the amount of total androgen receptor by 16 wk of age. To determine the specificity of the androgen-mediated decline in receptor levels, the amounts of prostate androgen receptor were compared with those of the penis at different ages. When expressed as femtomoles per organ, the total androgen receptor level in the prostate increased fourfold from 3 to 10 wk of age, whereas the total androgen receptor in the penis declined ~ threefold. We conclude that the downregulation of the penile androgen receptor content that occurs in the rat between 3 and 10 wk of age is androgen mediated, does not occur in all androgen target tissues, and is prevented but not reversed by castration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E46-E50
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1 21-1
StatePublished - 1990


  • 5α-dihydrotestosterone binding
  • growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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