Cell Renewal and Morphologic Studies on the Mitogenic Activity of Testosterone and Its Metabolites

  • W. Ian P. Mainwaring
Part of the Monographs on Endocrinology book series (ENDOCRINOLOGY, volume 10)


Since the secondary sexual glands in male animals were first recognised by their atrophy in castrated animals, their continued growth and maintenance has long been appreciated as a prominent feature of the biology of testosterone. Indeed, before bio chemistry made such an impact on research on androgens, morphologic approaches were widely practiced. At first, the growth elicited by androgens was measured in rather loose, descriptive terms, either in the reduction in the size and weight of male accessory sexual glands in castrated animals or the reversal of these changes after the injection of androgenic steroids. From such studies, and especially the work of Saunders (1963), a basic model for studying the involvement of androgens in mitosis was evolved. Some 7 or 10 days after bilateral orchidectomy, the male accessory sexual glands of rodents shrink to their minimum and the administration of testosterone then promotes a dramatic increase in their weight and intracellular secretions, but only after a protracted delay or latent period of 2 or 3 days. With rat ventral prostate as the model target organ, this system has been the basis for virtually all studies on DNA replication.


Labelling Index Seminal Vesicle Mitotic Index Prostate Gland Mitogenic Activity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Ian P. Mainwaring
    • 1
  1. 1.Androgen Physiology DepartmentImperial Cancer Research FundLondonGreat Britain

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