ABSTRACT: Previous studies employing the male aromatase knockout (ArKO) mouse have indicated that local expression of estrogens appears to be important for the progression of spermatogenesis. In the absence of estrogen biosynthesis round spermatids are observed to undergo apoptosis and thus fail to differentiate into mature, elongated spermatids. This lesion appears to arise between the ages of 18 weeks and 1 year. To ultimately determine if the disruption to spermatogenesis arises earlier than 18 weeks, we performed an intensive study to examine the fertility of younger male ArKO mice. This involved an analysis of their mating capacity together with an extensive stereological analysis, determination of the in vitro potential of mature sperm, and sexual behavior. ArKO and wild-type (w/t) males at 7 weeks of age were placed with w/t females for 7 weeks. At age 14 weeks, the males were killed and the testes removed. ArKO mice were observed t
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