In female mice, anogenital distance (AGD), measured at weaning, provides an estimate of uterine exposure to testosterone from flanking male mouse littermates. A variant of the anogenital distance index (AGDI) that uses the residual value of AGD after accounting for the effect of weight by regression (AGDWTRES) was measured at weaning in F2 female mice from a C57BL/6J x DBA2/J cross. AGDWTRES was used to examine the relationship between intrauterine environment and blood chemistry variables and activity-related behaviors when the females were 450 days old. Longer AGDWTRES values correlated with lower levels of calcium, cholesterol, phosphorus, iron, and protein, which is opposite to the expected direction, based on underlying sex differences for blood chemistry. A positive correlation was found between AGDWTRES and two activity-related measures (the number of rears in a test of exploration, and the number of sectors of a rod that are entered by the mouse). These findings suggest that in utero proximity to males, as indexed by AGDWTRES, may have effects on fundamental aspects of blood chemistry and behavior that extend well into mouse middle age, and could play an important role in health.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience