The marsupial model for male phenotypic development

Jean D. Wilson, Geoffrey Shaw, Michael L. Leihy, Marilyn B. Renfree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


In all mammals, androgen formed in the developing testes is responsible for the aspects of male development in which the Wolffian ducts, urogenital sinus and urogenital tubercle are transformed into the epididymis/vas deferens, prostate and penis. That these events take place after birth in the marsupial makes it possible to examine male phenotypic development during pouch life. In the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, the testicular androgen 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol (5α-adiol) is formed in the developing testis, is secreted into plasma and has the capacity to virilize female young pouch when administered exogenously. 5α-Adiol is formed by immature testes in many species and appears to act in target tissues once it has been converted to dihydrotestosterone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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