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Mol Endocrinol. 1994 May;8(5):654-62.

Developmental expression of mouse steroidogenic factor-1, an essential regulator of the steroid hydroxylases.

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Department of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


As an initial step toward understanding its role in steroidogenesis, we studied the developmental profile of steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1), a nuclear receptor that regulates the steroid hydroxylases. SF-1 transcripts first appear on embryonic day 9 (E9) in the urogenital ridge, the probable source of steroidogenic cells of both adrenals and gonads. By E11, after the adrenals and gonads are clearly separate, SF-1 transcripts are detected throughout the adrenal primordium. Thereafter, adrenal expression of SF-1 localizes to the cortex. Consistent with its proposed role in regulating cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (SCC), SF-1 is expressed before SCC. During the sexually undifferentiated stage of gonadal development (E9-E12), all embryos express SF-1 in the genital ridge. As testicular cords form in males, SF-1 transcripts are diffusely expressed throughout the testis, whereas SCC mRNA is limited to the interstitium. These differences between SF-1 and SCC reflect SF-1 expression by Sertoli cells, as shown by Northern blotting and in situ hybridization. In contrast to its persistent expression in the embryonic testis, SF-1 transcripts disappear from the ovary between E13.5-E16.5, reappearing only during late gestation (E18.5). Thus, expression of SF-1 in the embryonic gonad is sexually dimorphic. Coupled with the demonstration of SF-1 mRNA in Sertoli cells, these data suggest that SF-1 plays a role in gonadal development distinct from regulating the steroidogenic enzymes. Additionally, SF-1 is expressed in the embryonic forebrain, implying a role in neural development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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