Research Highlights | Published:

Developmental biology: Swing time

Nature volume 456, page 678 (11 December 2008) | Download Citation

Subjects

All mammalian embryos grow up female unless told not to, with their 'supporting' cells turning into granulosa cells, which occur in the ovaries. Only when a Y-chromosome gene called Sry triggers the supporters to specialize as testicular cells that nurture growing sperm — Sertoli cells — does maleness follow.

A team led by Yoshiakira Kanai of the University of Tokyo has created a line of transgenic mice in which the turning on and off of Sry can be very tightly controlled. Using these mice, they have shown that Sry activation must occur during a six-hour window eleven days after mating if the adult is to have Sertoli rather than granulosa cells.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/456678c

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