Etiology of Hypospadias: A Comparative Review of Genetic Factors and Developmental Processes Between Human and Animal Models

Res Rep Urol. 2020 Dec 24:12:673-686. doi: 10.2147/RRU.S276141. eCollection 2020.


Hypospadias is a congenital anomaly of the penis with an occurrence of approximately 1 in 200 boys, but the etiology of the majority of hypospadias has remained unknown. Numerous genes have been reported as having variants in hypospadias patients, and many studies on genetic deletion of key genes in mouse genital development have also been published. Until now, no comparative analysis in the genes related literature has been reported. The basic knowledge of penile development and hypospadias is mainly obtained from animal model studies. Understanding of the differences and similarities between human and animal models is crucial for studies of hypospadias. In this review, mutations and polymorphisms of hypospadias-related genes have been compared between humans and mice, and differential genotype-phenotype relationships of certain genes between humans and mice have been discussed using the data available in PubMed and MGI online databases, and our analysis only revealed mutations in seven out of 43 human hypospadias related genes which have been reported to show similar phenotypes in mutant mice. The differences and similarities in the processes of penile development and hypospadias malformation among human and commonly used animal models suggest that the guinea pig may be a good model to study the mechanism of human penile development and etiology of hypospadias.

Keywords: animal models; external genital development; genetic factors; hypospadias.

Publication types

  • Review