The adult mouse penis represents the end point of masculine sex differentiation of the embryonic genital tubercle and contains bone, cartilage, the urethra, erectile bodies, several types of epithelium, and many individual cell types arrayed into specific anatomical structures. Using contemporary high-resolution imaging techniques, we sought to provide new insights to the current description of adult mouse penile morphology to enable understanding of penile abnormalities, including hypospadias. Examination of serial transverse and longitudinal sections, scanning electron microscopy, and three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction provided a new appreciation of the individual structures in the adult mouse penis and their 3D interrelationships. In so doing, we discovered novel paired erectile bodies, the male urogenital mating protuberance (MUMP), and more accurately described the urethral meatus. These morphological observations were quantified by morphometric analysis and now provide accurate morphological end points of sex differentiation of mouse penis that will be the foundation of future studies to identify normal and abnormal penile development.
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Vol. 85 • No. 6