, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 219-226

Targeting gonadotropin receptor genes

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This review highlights observations gleaned from recent reports on the deletion of FSH and LH receptors in mice. Gonadal differentiation does not depend on the presence of gonadotropin receptors but development is affected to varying degrees in both sexes. In both knockouts the null females are infertile with severely underdeveloped gonads and accessory structures. Sexual maturity and/or pubertal delay occur depending on the sex and knockout. Male null FSH-R mice have reduced fertility but null LH-R males are sterile due to cryptorchid testes and deficient spermatogenesis. In null FSH-R females hormonal imbalances are due to deficient estrogen and hyperandrogenemia. LH-R deficient females have low estrogen and testosterone. Females in both knockouts display phenotypes such as obesity, bone deficiency, and changes in brain structure and function in addition to manifestation of different types of reproductive tract tumors. Both types of mice represent good models for testing hormone replacement therapy in different combinations. The FSH-R heterozygous females could also be useful for studying age-dependent phenotypes.