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Zoolog Sci. 2000 Jan 1;17(1):65-8. doi: 10.2108/zsj.17.65.

Estrogen-Independent Ovary Formation in the Medaka Fish, Oryzias latipes.


To investigate whether a female sex steroid, estrogen, acts as a natural inducer of female gonadal sex determination (or ovary formation) in the medaka fish, Oryzias latipes, the effects of an aromatase inhibitor and anti-estrogens on sexual differentiation of gonads were examined. We found that both drugs did not show any discernible effects on the genetically determined sex differentiation in both sexes. However, the aromatase inhibitor impaired the paradoxical effects of androgen (a male sex steroid), and the anti-estrogens inhibited the male-to-female sex reversal caused by estrogen. Treatments of the fertilized eggs with androgen disturbed the gonadal sex developments in both sexes, suggesting that sex steroid synthesis is detrimental to the gonadal sex developments in the medaka embryos. These results are consistent with the previous observation that sex steroids are not synthesized before the onset of gonadal sex differentiation, and suggest that ovary formation in the genetic females of the medaka fish is not dependent on estrogen.


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