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Dev Growth Differ. 2005 Feb;47(2):65-74.

Sex-specific and left-right asymmetric expression pattern of Bmp7 in the gonad of normal and sex-reversed chicken embryos.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1-1 Minamiohsawa, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan.


A genetic switch determines whether the indifferent gonad develops into an ovary or a testis. In adult females of many avian species, the left ovary is functional while the right one regresses. In the embryo, bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) mediate biological effects in many organ developments but their roles in avian sex determination and gonadal differentiation remains largely unknown. Here, we report the sex-specific and left-right (L-R) asymmetric expression pattern of Bmp7 in the chicken gonadogenesis. Bmp7 was L-R asymmetrically expressed at the beginning of genital ridge formation. After sexual differentiation occurred, sex-specific expression pattern of Bmp7 was observed in the ovary mesenchyme. In addition, ovary-specific Bmp7 expression was reduced in experimentally induced female-to-male reversal using the aromatase inhibitor (AI). These dynamic changes of expression pattern of Bmp7 in the gonad with or without AI treatment suggest that BMP may play roles in determination of L-R asymmetric development and sex-dependent differentiation in the avian gonadogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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