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Differentiation. 1990 Jul;44(1):62-8.

Expression of inhibin alpha-subunit gene during mouse gametogenesis.

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Department of Developmental Biology, Mitsubishi Kasei Institute of Life Sciences, Tokyo, Japan.


Mammalian gametogenesis is regulated through complex interactions between germ and somatic cells. To investigate the mechanism underlying the differentiation of functional gametes, some genes specifically expressed during gametogenesis have been isolated and characterized. In a search for further examples of such genes, we have isolated from a newborn mouse testis cDNA library, a clone corresponding to mouse inhibin alpha-subunit. Although it is known that the inhibin alpha-subunit molecule is abundantly produced in ovarian follicle and in testicular Sertoli cells, the spatial and temporal patterns of expression of this gene remain to be elucidated. In this study, the patterns of expression of inhibin alpha-subunit mRNA during mouse gametogenesis were examined by RNA blot, cytoplasmic dot and in situ hybridization techniques. In the testis, the concentration of inhibin alpha-subunit mRNA increased from about 16 dpc (days post coitum), peaked at birth and then gradually decreased, paralleling testicular development. Inhibin alpha-subunit mRNA was localized in Sertoli cells of wild type as well as W/Wv testes. In adult testis, mRNA was restricted to the perinuclear cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. Inhibin alpha-subunit mRNA was expressed in follicle cells of adult ovary more abundantly than in adult testis. Analysis of expression during folliculogenesis showed that the accumulation of this mRNA began in preantrum follicles and the level of expression reached a maximum in Graafian follicles.

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