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Temporal expression pattern of genes during the period of sex differentiation in human embryonic gonads

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The precise timing and sequence of changes in expression of key genes and proteins during human sex-differentiation and onset of steroidogenesis was evaluated by whole-genome expression in 67 first trimester human embryonic and fetal ovaries and testis and confirmed by qPCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC). SRY/SOX9 expression initiated in testis around day 40 pc, followed by initiation of AMH and steroidogenic genes required for androgen production at day 53 pc. In ovaries, gene expression of RSPO1, LIN28, FOXL2, WNT2B, and ETV5, were significantly higher than in testis, whereas GLI1 was significantly higher in testis than ovaries. Gene expression was confirmed by IHC for GAGE, SOX9, AMH, CYP17A1, LIN28, WNT2B, ETV5 and GLI1. Gene expression was not associated with the maternal smoking habits. Collectively, a precise temporal determination of changes in expression of key genes involved in human sex-differentiation is defined, with identification of new genes of potential importance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)15961
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 52193380