Sexual characteristics of adult female mice are correlated with their blood testosterone levels during prenatal development

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Science  09 May 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4444, pp. 597-599
DOI: 10.1126/science.7367881


Mice produce litters containing many pups, and the female fetuses that develop between male fetuses have significantly higher concentrations of the male sex steroid testosterone in both their blood and amniotic fluid than do females that develop between other female fetuses. These two types of females differ during later life in many sexually related characteristics. Thus, individual variation in sexual characteristics of adult female mice may be traceable to differential exposure to testosterone during prenatal development because of intrauterine proximity to male fetuses.