To unravel the molecular mechanisms mediating the effects of androgens on spermatogenesis, testicular gene expression was compared in mice with Sertoli cell-selective androgen receptor knockout (SCARKO) and littermate controls on postnatal d 10. Microarray analysis identified 692 genes with significant differences in expression. Of these, 28 appeared to be down-regulated and 12 up-regulated at least 2-fold in SCARKOs compared with controls. For nine of the more than 2-fold down-regulated genes, androgen regulation was confirmed by treatment of wild-type mice with an antiandrogen (flutamide). Some of them were previously described to be androgen regulated or essential for spermatogenesis. Serine-type protease inhibitors were markedly overrepresented in this down-regulated subgroup. A time study (d 8-20), followed by cluster analysis, allowed identification of distinct expression patterns of differentially expressed genes. Three genes with a pattern closely resembling that of Pem, a prototypical androgen-regulated gene expressed in Sertoli cells, were selected for confirmation by quantitative RT-PCR and additional analysis. The data confirm that the SCARKO model allows identification of novel androgen-regulated genes in the testis. Moreover, they suggest that protease inhibitors and other proteins related to tubular restructuring and cell junction dynamics may be controlled in part by androgens.