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Gene Expr Patterns. 2002 Dec;2(3-4):359-67.

Sexually dimorphic gene expression in the developing mouse gonad.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 9 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


Over the course of a few days, the bipotential embryonic mouse gonad differentiates into either a testis or an ovary. Though a few gene expression differences that underlie gonadal sex differentiation have been identified, additional components of the testicular and ovarian developmental pathways must be identified to understand this process. Here we report the use of a PCR-based cDNA subtraction to investigate expression differences that arise during gonadal sex differentiation. Subtraction of embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) XY gonadal cDNA with E12.5 XX gonadal cDNA yielded 19 genes that are expressed at significantly higher levels in XY gonads. These genes display a variety of expression patterns within the embryonic testis and encode a broad range of proteins. A reciprocal subtraction (of E12.5 XX gonadal cDNA with E12.5 XY gonadal cDNA) yielded two genes, follistatin and Adamts19, that are expressed at higher levels in XX gonads. Follistatin is a well-known antagonist of TGFbeta family members while Adamts19 encodes a new member of the ADAMTS family of secreted metalloproteases.

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