Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Current understanding of hypospadias: relevance of animal models

  • Author(s): Cunha, GR
  • Sinclair, A
  • Risbridger, G
  • Hutson, J
  • Baskin, LS
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2015 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved. Hypospadias is a congenital abnormality of the penile urethra with an incidence of approximately 1:200–1:300 male births, which has doubled over the past three decades. The aetiology of the overwhelming majority of hypospadias remains unknown but appears to be a combination of genetic susceptibility and prenatal exposure to endocrine disruptors. Reliable animal models of hypospadias are required for better understanding of the mechanisms of normal penile urethral formation and hence hypospadias. Mice and/or rats are generally used for experimental modelling of hypospadias, however these do not fully reflect the human condition. To use these models successfully, researchers must understand the similarities and differences between mouse, rat and human penile anatomy as well as the normal morphogenetic mechanisms of penile development in these species. Despite some important differences, numerous features of animal and human hypospadias are shared: the prevalence of distal penile malformations; disruption of the urethral meatus; disruption of urethra-associated erectile bodies; and a common mechanism of impaired epithelial fusion events. Rat and mouse models of hypospadias are crucial to our understanding of hypospadias to ultimately reduce its incidence through better preventive strategies.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View