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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of muscle type, castration, age, and compensatory growth rate on androgen receptor mRNA expression in bovine skeletal muscle.

The effect of testosterone on sexual dimorphism is evident by differential growth of forelimb and neck muscles in bulls and steers. Divergent hormone sensitivites may account for the differential growth rates of individual muscles. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare androgen receptor ( AR) expression in three different muscles of bulls and steers at various ages and growth rates. Thirty Montbéliard bulls and 30 steers were assigned to four slaughter age groups. Four or five animals of each sex were slaughtered at 4 and 8 mo of age. Animals in the remaining two slaughter groups (12 and 16 mo) were divided into groups of either restricted (R) or ad libitum (AL) access to feed. Five animals of each sex and diet were slaughtered at the end of the restricted intake period at 12 mo of age. To simulate compensatory growth, the remaining animals (R and AL) were allowed ad libitum access to feed until slaughter at 16 mo of age. Total RNA was extracted from samples of semitendinosus (ST), triceps brachii (TB), and splenius (SP) muscles. Androgen receptor mRNA was quantified in 200-ng total RNA preparations using an internally standardized reverse transcription (RT) PCR assay. Data were analyzed using 18S ribosomal RNA concentrations as a covariable. Steers had higher AR mRNA levels per RNA unit than bulls (P < .01). Androgen receptor mRNA levels differed between muscles (P < .05), with lowest expression in the SP. The pattern of AR expression differed (P < .05) for each muscle with increasing age. Between 4 and 12 mo of age, AR mRNA levels increased (P < .05) in SP but remained unchanged in the ST and TB. Feeding regimen had no effect on muscle AR expression, but steers exhibiting compensatory growth had higher AR mRNA levels than AL steers (P < .01) or bulls (P < .01). Our results show that AR expression is muscle-specific and may be modulated by circulating testicular hormones. These data suggest that the regulation of AR expression may be linked to allometric muscle growth patterns in cattle and compensatory gain in steers.[1]


  1. Effects of muscle type, castration, age, and compensatory growth rate on androgen receptor mRNA expression in bovine skeletal muscle. Brandstetter, A.M., Pfaffl, M.W., Hocquette, J.F., Gerrard, D.E., Picard, B., Geay, Y., Sauerwein, H. J. Anim. Sci. (2000) [Pubmed]
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