Sex determination and gonadal development in mammals

Wilhelm, D., Palmer, S. and Koopman, P. (2007) Sex determination and gonadal development in mammals. Physiological Reviews, 87 1: 1-28. doi:10.1152/physrev.00009.2006

Author Wilhelm, D.
Palmer, S.
Koopman, P.
Title Sex determination and gonadal development in mammals
Journal name Physiological Reviews   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0031-9333
Publication date 2007-01-01
Year available 2007
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1152/physrev.00009.2006
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 87
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 28
Total pages 28
Place of publication Bethesda, USA
Publisher American Physiological Society
Language eng
Subject C1
270205 Genetic Development (incl. Sex Determination)
780105 Biological sciences
060403 Developmental Genetics (incl. Sex Determination)
Abstract Arguably the most defining moment in our lives is fertilization, the point at which we inherit either an X or a Y chromosome from our father. The profoundly different journeys of male and female life are thus decided by a genetic coin toss. These differences begin to unfold during fetal development, when the Y-chromosomal Sry ("sex-determining region Y") gene is activated in males and acts as a switch that diverts the fate of the undifferentiated gonadal primordia, the genital ridges, towards testis development. This sex-determining event sets in train a cascade of morphological changes, gene regulation, and molecular interactions that directs the differentiation of male characteristics. If this does not occur, alternative molecular cascades and cellular events drive the genital ridges toward ovary development. Once testis or ovary differentiation has occurred, our sexual fate is further sealed through the action of sex-specific gonadal hormones. We review here the molecular and cellular events (differentiation, migration, proliferation, and communication) that distinguish testis and ovary during fetal development, and the changes in gene regulation that underpin these two alternate pathways. The growing body of knowledge relating to testis development, and the beginnings of a picture of ovary development, together illustrate the complex mechanisms by which these organ systems develop, inform the etiology, diagnosis, and management of disorders of sexual development, and help define what it is to be male or female.
Keyword Physiology
Determining Gene Sry
Mullerian-inhibiting Substance
Adrenal Hypoplasia Congenita
Testis-determining Factor
Primordial Germ-cells
Sexually Dimorphic Development
Transcription Factor Foxl2
Determining Factor Sox9
Steroidogenic Factor-i
Nuclear Receptor Sf-1
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID Z01 AG000647-11
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes This document is a journal review.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
2008 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 309 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 19 Feb 2008, 02:04:15 EST