The hepatic microsomal enzyme UDP-glucuronyltransferase undergoes a complex developmental pattern in which enzyme activity is first detectable on the 18th day of gestation in rats. Prepubertal activities are similar for males and females. However, postpubertal sexual differentiation of enzyme activity occurs in which male activities are twice those of females. Neonatal administration of testosterone propionate or diethylstilboestrol to intact animals resulted in lowered UDP-glucuronyltransferase activity in liver microsomal fractions of adult male rats, whereas no changes were observed in the adult females and prepubertal male and female animals. Neonatal administration of testosterone propionate and diethylstilboestrol adversely affected male reproductive-tract development as evidenced by decreased weights of testes, seminal vesicles and ventral prostate. Diethylstilboestrol also markedly decreased spermatogenesis. Hypophysectomy of adult male rats resulted in negative modulation of microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase and prevented the sexual differentiation of enzyme activity. In contrast hypophysectomy had no effect on female UDP-glucuronyltransferase activity. A pituitary transplant under the kidney capsule was not capable of reversing the enzyme effects of hypophysectomy, therefore suggesting that the male pituitary factor(s) responsible for positive modulation of UDP-glucuronyltransferase might be under hypothalamic control in the form of a releasing factor. Neonatal testosterone propionate and diethylstilboestrol administration apparently interfered with the normal sequence of postpubertal UDP-glucuronyltransferase sexual differentiation.

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