Research Highlights | Published:

Developmental biology: Swing time

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


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.

About this article

Publication history





    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing