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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2005 Jan 31;230(1-2):87-93.

The pathway to femaleness: current knowledge on embryonic development of the ovary.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL 61802, USA.


Increasing evidence indicates that organogenesis of the ovary is not a passive process arising by default in the absence of the testis pathway. A coordinated interaction is actually in force between somatic cells and female germ cells in embryonic ovaries, thus creating a unique microenvironment that facilitates the formation of follicles. Identification of the functional roles of several novel regulatory elements such as Figalpha, Foxl2, follistatin, and Wnt4 reveals the complexity of early ovarian organization. Challenges await us to establish the molecular connections of these molecules as well as to discover new candidates in the pathway of early ovarian development.

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