Immunodetection methods were used to detect estrogen receptors (ER) in male reproductive tracts on fetal days 13, 15, and 17 and on the day of birth. Immunocytochemistry revealed that most of the cells of the gonad and associated Wolffian duct stained for ER on fetal day 13. During the next 6 days, ER distribution changed, and by the day of birth, ERs were observed only in epithelial cells of the epididymis (derived from the Wolffian duct) and in a portion of cells from the testis. Immunoblots confirmed that a band the size of the ER stained in reproductive tracts for all ages studied. Similar to the fetal female, ERs are present throughout the early development of the fetal male reproductive tract. However, in contrast to the female, ERs appear to decrease in the male fetal reproductive tract at the time of birth.
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