The development of the prostate and the normal descent of the testes in the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) were influenced by treatment with the non-steroidal anti-androgen flutamide. Male pouch young were treated daily from day 9 to day 45, or from day 20 to day 45, of pouch life. Prostate development was inhibited in both treatment groups to a similar extent. Since prostatic buds do not form until day 25 of pouch life, these results suggest that there is a window of androgen sensitivity operating between day 20 and day 25 of pouch life. The number of prostatic buds was significantly lower, but despite the duration of treatment there was never complete abolition of prostate development. Although testes had descended to the same position in treated and control pouch young, inguinal hernias developed in three of four animals treated with flutamide from day 9. These data demonstrate that virilization of the male reproductive tract in this marsupial is dependent on a relatively brief exposure to androgens. Blocking androgen receptor action interferes with normal development of the inguinal canal, which suggests that it is this aspect of inguinoscrotal testicular descent that is androgen dependent.
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