Developmental Instability of Ano-Genial Distance Index: Implications for Assessment of Prenatal Masculinization
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In laboratory rodents, the ano-genital distance index (AGDI) has become widely used as a marker of natural prenatal masculinization. A greater value should indicate a greater masculinization. The aim of this study was to assess the developmental stability of the AGDI in female mice during pre- (Days 1–21) and postweaning (Days 21–61) periods. Presuming that the AGDI reflects a permanent effect of prenatal masculinization, we hypothesized that the AGDI will be a developmentally stable morphometric measurement (interindividual differences in the AGDI measurement should persist over time). In contrast to our prediction, the AGDI showed poor repeatability both during pre- (0.15) and postweaning (0.22) periods, indicating developmental instability. (A value of 1 indicates perfect repeatability and a value of 0 indicates no repeatability.) The AGDI thus does not seem to be a reliable marker of prenatal female masculinization.
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