Sex determination in mammalian germ cells: extrinsic versus intrinsic factors

Bowles, Josephine and Koopman, Peter (2010) Sex determination in mammalian germ cells: extrinsic versus intrinsic factors. Reproduction, 139 6: 943-958. doi:10.1530/REP-10-0075


Author Bowles, Josephine
Koopman, Peter
Title Sex determination in mammalian germ cells: extrinsic versus intrinsic factors
Journal name Reproduction   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1470-1626
1741-7899
Publication date 2010-06-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1530/REP-10-0075
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 139
Issue 6
Start page 943
End page 958
Total pages 16
Place of publication Bristol, United Kingdom
Publisher BioScientifica
Language eng
Abstract Mammalian germ cells do not determine their sexual fate based on their XX or XY chromosomal constitution. Instead, sexual fate is dependent on the gonadal environment in which they develop. In a fetal testis, germ cells commit to the spermatogenic programme of development during fetal life, although they do not enter meiosis until puberty. In a fetal ovary, germ cells commit to oogenesis by entering prophase of meiosis I. Although it was believed previously that germ cells are pre-programmed to enter meiosis unless they are actively prevented from doing so, recent results indicate that meiosis is triggered by a signaling molecule, retinoic acid (RA). Meiosis is avoided in the fetal testis because a male-specifically expressed enzyme actively degrades RA during the critical time period. Additional extrinsic factors are likely to influence sexual fate of the germ cells, and in particular, we postulate that an additional male-specific fate-determining factor or factors is involved. The full complement of intrinsic factors that underlie the competence of gonadal germ cells to respond to RA and other extrinsic factors is yet to be defined. © 2010 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.
Keyword Embryonic stem-cells
X--chromosome activity
Testis cord formation
Retinoic acid
mouse embryo
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 06 Jun 2010, 10:01:48 EST