Androgen effect on connexin expression in the mammalian female reproductive system: A systematic review
Keywords:Androgen, androgen blocker, connexin, ovary, female reproductive system
The functions of androgen and connexin in the mammalian female reproductive system are suggested to be related. Previous research has shown that androgen affects connexin expression in the female reproductive system, altering its function. However, no definitive conclusion on their cause-effect relationship has been drawn yet. In addition, a high prevalence of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), who are characterized by elevated androgen levels and failure of ovulation, has prompted the studies on the relationship between androgen and connexin in the ovaries. This systematic review aims to investigate the effect of androgen on connexin expression in the mammalian female reproductive system. The literature search was conducted using the MEDLINE via EBSCOhost and the Scopus database and the following keywords: “androgen” or “testosterone” or “androgen blocker” or “anti-androgen” or “androstenedione” or “dehydroepiandrosterone” or “flutamide AND connexin” or “gap junction” or “cell junction”. We only considered in vitro and in vivo studies that involved treatment by androgen or androgen receptor blockers and measured connexin expression as one of the parameters. Our review showed that the exposure to androgen or androgen blocker affects connexin expression but not its localization in the mammalian ovary. However, it is not clear whether androgen downregulates or upregulates connexin expression.