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Nat Rev Genet. 2003 Dec;4(12):969-80.

Developmental genetics of the female reproductive tract in mammals.

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Program in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine and Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The female reproductive tract receives the oocytes for fertilization, supports the development of the fetus and provides the passage for birth. Although abnormalities of this organ system can result in infertility and even death, until recently relatively little was known about the genetic processes that underlie its development. By drawing primarily on mouse mutagenesis studies and the analysis of human mutations we review the emerging genetic pathways that regulate female reproductive-tract formation in mammals and that are implicated in congenital abnormalities of this organ system. We also show that these pathways might be conserved between invertebrates and mammals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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