D Ashley Monks

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We created transgenic mice that overexpress WT androgen receptor (AR) exclusively in their skeletal muscle fibers. Unexpectedly, these mice display androgen-dependent muscle weakness and early death, show changes in muscle morphology and gene expression consistent with neurogenic atrophy, and exhibit a loss of motor axons. These features reproduce those(More)
Steroids exert powerful effects on the brains and behavior of many species, but measures and manipulations of endocrine physiology in songbirds often reveal unexplained connections between steroids and the brain. The zebra finch song system, a sensorimotor neural circuit sensitive to steroids throughout life, organizes and functions largely in apparent(More)
Potential cellular targets of androgen action within skeletal muscle of the rat were determined by comparing the cellular distribution of androgen receptor (AR)-positive nuclei in the highly androgen-responsive levator ani (LA) muscle with that of the relatively androgen-unresponsive extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle. We found that androgen(More)
BACKGROUND Emerging evidence implicates altered gene expression within skeletal muscle in the pathogenesis of Kennedy disease/spinal bulbar muscular atrophy (KD/SBMA). We therefore broadly characterized gene expression in skeletal muscle of three independently generated mouse models of this disease. The mouse models included a polyglutamine expanded (polyQ)(More)
With this paper, we deliberately challenge the prevailing neurocentric theory of the etiology of spinal bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). We offer data supporting an alternative view that androgen receptor (AR) acts in skeletal muscles to cause the symptoms of SBMA. While SBMA has been linked to a CAG repeat expansion in the AR gene and mutant AR is presumed(More)
We have generated a transgenic mouse that expresses Cre recombinase only in skeletal muscle and only following tetracycline treatment. This spatiotemporal specificity is achieved using two transgenes. The first transgene uses the human skeletal actin (HSA) promoter to drive expression of the reverse tetracycline-controlled transactivator (rtTA). The second(More)
Testosterone and other androgens are thought to increase lean body mass and reduce fat body mass in men by activating the androgen receptor. However, the clinical potential of androgens for improving body composition is hampered by our limited understanding of the tissues and cells that promote such changes. Here we show that selective overexpression of(More)
BACKGROUND Spinal bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is caused by a CAG repeat expansion mutation in the androgen receptor (AR) gene, and mutant AR is presumed to act in motoneurons to cause SBMA. However, we found that mice overexpressing wild-type (wt) AR solely in skeletal muscle fibers display the same androgen-dependent disease phenotype as when mutant AR(More)
Maternal licking of rat pups affects the development of the spinal nucleus of the bulbocavernosus (SNB), a sexually dimorphic motor nucleus that controls penile reflexes involved with copulation. Maternal licking influences SNB motoneurons, with reductions in licking producing decreased SNB number, size, and dendritic length in adulthood. Reduced maternal(More)
Polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion of the androgen receptor (AR) causes Kennedy's disease/spinobulbar muscular atrophy (KD/SBMA) through poorly defined cellular mechanisms. Although KD/SBMA has been thought of as a motor neuron disease, recent evidence indicates a key role for skeletal muscle. To resolve which early aspects of the disease can be caused by(More)