XXY mice exhibit gonadal and behavioral phenotypes similar to Klinefelter syndrome

Endocrinology. 2005 Sep;146(9):4148-54. doi: 10.1210/en.2005-0278. Epub 2005 Jun 16.


Klinefelter syndrome (XXY males) is the most common sex chromosome aneuploidy. XXY mice were generated by using a four-generation breeding scheme that involves the use of a structurally rearranged Y chromosome, Y*, yielding approximately 50% of the live-born male offspring in the fourth generation with a XXY karyotype. Adult XXY mice have small testes, decreased plasma T levels, and elevated plasma FSH levels. The testes of adult XXY mice contained small seminiferous tubules with intraepithelial vacuolization and absence of germ cells, whereas Leydig cells appeared to be more abundant than their XY littermates. Androgen receptor immunoexpression was localized in Leydig cells and peritubular myoid cells in both XY and XXY mice. Androgen receptor immunoexpression was abundant in the Sertoli cells of XY mice but nearly absent in those of XXY mice. The testicular phenotype was marked by a 23.1% decrease in testis weights in XXY pups beginning at d 7 after birth. Gonocyte numbers were similar in XY and XXY mice at d 1 of age, followed by a 62.6% decrease in the number of gonocytes in the XXY mice on d 3 and further progressive loss in spermatogonia by d 5 and 7. On d 10, only a few spermatogonia remained in the XXY mice. To determine whether the phenotype of XXY mice extended into the neurobehavioral domain, studies were conducted demonstrating impairment of learning and memory function in XXY mice. We conclude that adult XXY mice have testicular failure and learning deficits, similar to its human counterpart, Klinefelter syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Body Weight
  • Conditioning, Classical
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / genetics*
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / pathology
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains*
  • Organ Size
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism
  • Testis / pathology*
  • Testis / physiopathology
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Testosterone