Defective mesonephric cell migration is associated with abnormal testis cord development in C57BL/6J XY(Mus domesticus) mice.

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Cell-Movement, DNA-Binding-Proteins, Embryo-and-Fetal-Development, Gene-Expression-Regulation-Developmental, Male, Mesonephros, Mice, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Sex-Determination-(Genetics), SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, Testis

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Dev Biol 2000 Sep; 225(1):26-36.


During the critical period of mouse sex determination, mesenchymal cells migrate from the mesonephros into the adjacent developing testis. This process is thought to initiate cord development and is dependent on Sry. The presence of Sry, however, does not always guarantee normal testis development. For example, transfer of certain Mus domesticus-derived Y chromosomes, i.e., M. domesticus Sry alleles, onto the C57BL/6J (B6) inbred mouse strain results in abnormal testis development. We tested the hypothesis that mesonephric cell migration was impaired in three cases representing a range of aberrant testis development: B6 XY(AKR), B6 XY(POS), and (BXD-21 x B6-Y(POS))F1 XY(POS). In each case, mesonephric cell migration was abnormal. Furthermore, the timing, extent, and position of migrating cells in vitro and cord development in vivo were coincident, supporting the hypothesis that mesonephric cells are critical for cord development. Additional experiments indicated that aberrant testis development results from the inability of Sry(M. domesticus) to initiate normal cell migration, but that downstream signal transduction mechanisms are intact. These experiments provide new insight into the mechanism of C57BL/6J-Y(M. domesticus) sex reversal. We present a model incorporating these findings as they relate to mammalian sex determination.