Development of the Penile Urethra

  • Gerald R. Cunha
  • Laurence Baskin
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 545)


In humans hypospadias consists of an abnormal ventral urethral meatus, incomplete formation of the prepuce and penile curvature (Baskin et al., 1998). The cause of hypospadias is thought to be failure of formation or fusion of the urethral folds bounding the urethral groove. While failure of urethral fold fusion may be the ultimate cause of hypospadias, there are many other possible causes of this malformation. In this review, the development of the penile urethra will be described for both the human and the mouse. The purpose of this paper is to review the developmental anatomy of the external genitalia to provide a framework for subsequent chapters that will focus on mechanisms of penile development. The second goal of this review is to discuss the development of the external genitalia of the human and the mouse so as to evaluate the mouse as a relevant animal model for development of the external genitalia.


Androgen Receptor External Genitalia Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Urethral Plate Anal Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald R. Cunha
    • 1
  • Laurence Baskin
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco

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