The neonatal testosterone surge: a comparative study

Arch Int Physiol Biochim Biophys. 1992 Mar-Apr;100(2):127-31. doi: 10.3109/13813459209035274.


In the rat an abrupt discharge of testicular testosterone in the newborn male figures prominently in the development of mechanisms controlling gonadotropin secretion, sexual behavior, and also promotes the functional differentiation of the accessory sex glands. In this study we detail the temporal characteristics of this surge in the rat, and we provide comparative data documenting a similar surge-like appearance of testosterone in neonatal male mice, recently foaled male horses, and newborn human infants. Although the physiological and behavioral significance of this phenomenon for species other than the rat remains to be determined, the apparently ubiquitous appearance of the neonatal testosterone surge suggests that it may be of special significance in the sexual differentiation of many mammalian species.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / blood*
  • Female
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / blood*
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Rats
  • Species Specificity
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Testosterone