Emily J Willingham

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PURPOSE An unexplained increase in the incidence of hypospadias has been reported, and yet to our knowledge the molecular events and their regulation leading to hypospadias remain unknown, although environmental compounds capable of endocrine activity are suspected. We screened on a global scale abnormalities in gene expression in human hypospadiac tissue(More)
During bladder development, primitive mesenchyme differentiates into smooth muscle (SM) under the influence of urothelium. The gene(s) responsible for this process have not been elucidated. We propose that the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway is critical in bladder SM formation. Herein, we examine the role of the Shh-signaling pathway during SM(More)
The molecular events that lead to isolated hypospadias remain largely unknown, and the etiology of this common congenital anomaly seems to be multifactorial. We have explored the response of several candidate genes to environmental agents that cause hypospadias in a mouse model. Here, we provide an overview of current findings in relation to candidate genes(More)
OBJECTIVES The phytoestrogen (plant estrogen) genistein, present in soy products, is of interest because in utero exposure to genistein can cause hypospadias in our mouse model and maternal consumption of soy is prevalent in human populations. Another compound of interest is the fungicide vinclozolin, which also causes hypospadias in the mouse and rat and(More)
PURPOSE We investigated the role of steroid receptors in normal and abnormal genital tubercle development in males and females. We hypothesized that progesterone receptor expression might be involved in abnormal development in both sexes. MATERIALS AND METHODS We examined the effects of medroxyprogesterone acetate on steroid receptor mRNA expression and(More)
Polyhalogenated hydrocarbons have been implicated in the anomalous sexual differentiation of mammals and reptiles. Here, a temperature-sensitive turtle sex determination assay using the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) was used to determine the estrogenic or antiestrogenic activity of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and(More)
OBJECTIVE To analyse the gene expression profiles of the mouse genital tubercle (GT) during urethral tube development at embryonic (E) days E14, E15, E16 and E17, as the aetiology of hypospadias, one of the most common congenital anomalies, remains unknown. MATERIALS AND METHODS During GT development the urethral folds fuse to form an epithelial seam;(More)
Hypospadias is a congenital anomaly of the genitalia characterized by abnormalities of the urethra and foreskin, with the urethral meatus located in an abnormal position anywhere from the distal ventral penile shaft to the perineum. Because the incidence of hypospadias is approximately 1/200-1/300 live male births, it is one of the most common congenital(More)
PURPOSE The ontogeny of androgen receptor expression in male and female mouse genital tubercles, and the effects of in utero ethinyl estradiol exposure on androgen receptor mRNA expression in the hypospadias model were studied. MATERIALS AND METHODS Androgen receptor mRNA expression was measured in mouse genital tubercles from fetuses and pups collected(More)
BACKGROUND Vinclozolin is a fungicide that has been reported to have anti-androgenic effects in rats. We have found that in utero exposure to natural or synthetic progesterones can induce hypospadias in mice, and that the synthetic progesterone medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) feminizes male and virilizes female genital tubercles. In the current work, we(More)