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  • Author: Jin Kyu Oh x
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Jin Kyu Oh, Young Jae Im, Kwanjin Park and Jae-Seung Paick

Although it is well known that penile growth is dependent on androgens, few clinical studies have reported successful treatment of micropenis with testosterone, likely due to concerns regarding the efficacy and safety of prolonged testosterone use. Thus, we assessed the synergenic effects of growth hormone (GH) treatments with and without testosterone on phallic growth in a rat model of micropenis. Fifty Sprague–Dawley rats were assigned to control (C), microphallus (MP), testosterone, GH (G) and GH plus testosterone (GT) treatment groups, and microphallus was induced by secondary hypogonadism. Pre-pubertal treatments with testosterone, GH or the combination were initiated from 7 days after birth and were maintained until 12 weeks of age. To assess the efficacy of treatments, phallic dimensions were determined and histological markers of cavernosal integrity were evaluated. Skeletal and gonadal safety profiles of the treatments were then assessed according to right tibial lengths and testicular weights, respectively. No monotreatments normalised penile dimensions, whereas combination treatments led to complete restoration. The combination treatment also prevented decreases in histological indicators of cavernosal integrity, including smooth muscle actin and collagen III expression levels and fat globule accumulation and sinusoidal density. These synergenic effects of GH treatments on penile growth may follow changes in androgen receptor expression levels and were accompanied by decreased testicular volume losses. Although the physiological conditions of phallic growth differ between humans and rats, this proof-of-concept study provides a strategy for circumventing the problems of testosterone monotherapy for human micropenis.