Androgens/androgen receptor (AR) signaling is involved primarily in the development of male-specific phenotypes during embryogenesis, spermatogenesis, sexual behavior, and fertility during adult life. However, this signaling has also been shown to play an important role in development of female reproductive organs and their functions, such as ovarian folliculogenesis, embryonic implantation, and uterine and breast development. The establishment of the testicular feminization (Tfm) mouse model exploiting the X-linked Tfm mutation in mice has been a good in vivo tool for studying the human complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, but this mouse may not be the perfect in vivo model. Mouse models with various cell-specific AR knockout (ARKO) might allow us to study AR roles in individual types of cells in these male and female reproductive systems, although discrepancies are found in results between labs, probably due to using various Cre mice and/or knocking out AR in different AR domains. Nevertheless, no doubt exists that the continuous development of these ARKO mouse models and careful studies will provide information useful for understanding AR roles in reproductive systems of humans and may help us to develop more effective and more specific therapeutic approaches for reproductive system-related diseases.
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Vol. 89 • No. 1