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14 October 2015 Development and Characterization of Uterine Glandular Epithelium Specific Androgen Receptor Knockout Mouse Model
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While estrogen action is the major driver of uterine development, androgens acting via the androgen receptor (AR) may also promote uterine growth as suggested by uterine phenotypes in global AR knockout (ARKO) female mice. Because AR is expressed in uterine endometrial glands, we generated (Cre/loxP) uterine gland epithelium-specific ARKO (ugeARKO) to determine the role of endometrial gland-specific androgen actions. However, AR in uterine gland epithelium may not be required for normal uterine development and function because ugeARKO females had normal uterine development and fertility. To determine if exogenous androgens acting via AR can fully support uterine growth in the absence of estrogens, the ARKO and ugeARKO females were ovariectomized and treated with supraphysiological doses of testosterone or dihydrotestosterone (nonaromatizable androgen). Both dihydrotestosterone and testosterone supported full uterine regrowth in wild-type females while ARKO females had no regrowth (comparable to ovariectomized only). These findings suggest that androgens acting via AR can promote full uterine regrowth in the absence of estrogens. The ugeARKO had 50% regrowth when compared to intact uterine glands, and histomorphologically, both the endometrial and myometrial areas were significantly (P < 0.05) reduced, suggesting glandular epithelial AR located in the endometrium may indirectly modify myometrial development. Additionally, to confirm Cre function in endometrial glands, we generated uge-specific PTEN knockout mouse model. The ugePTEN knockout females developed severe endometrial hyperplasia and therefore present a novel model for future research.

Jaesung Peter Choi, Yu Zheng, Katherine A. Skulte, David J. Handelsman, and Ulla Simanainen "Development and Characterization of Uterine Glandular Epithelium Specific Androgen Receptor Knockout Mouse Model," Biology of Reproduction 93(5), (14 October 2015).
Received: 2 June 2015; Accepted: 1 October 2015; Published: 14 October 2015

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