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EGFR ligands exert diverging effects on male reproductive organs.

Exp. Mol. Pathol. 88, 216-218 (2010)
Open Access Green as soon as Postprint is submitted to ZB.
While the EGFR and most of its ligands are expressed in the male reproductive tract, their functions in male reproduction are poorly understood. Interestingly, male transgenic mice overexpressing EGF are sterile, and transgenic mice overexpressing TGFA, another EGFR ligand, show an enlarged coagulation gland (anterior prostate) due to severe hyperplasia with focal dysplasia. We studied the male reproductive tract of transgenic mice overexpressing betacellulin (BTC-tg) under the control of a promoter conferring widespread transgene expression. Despite strong overexpression of BTC in different parts of the male reproductive tract, the gross appearance and histology of the reproductive organs of BTC-tg males were normal and the same were true for sperm parameters and the in vitro fertilization rate. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that excess of BTC exerts no deleterious effects on the structure or function of the male reproductive tract in mice and indicates unique, non-overlapping functions of specific EGFR ligands in male reproduction.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Epidermal growth factor; EGFR; Betacellulin; Transgenic mice; Male reproductive tract
Reviewing status