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Control of sex development


Biason-Lauber, A (2010). Control of sex development. Best Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 24(2):163-86.

Abstract

The process of sexual differentiation is central for reproduction of almost all metazoan, and therefore, for maintenance of practically all multicellular organisms. In sex development, we can distinguish two different processes, sex determination, that is the developmental decision that directs the undifferentiated embryo into a sexually dimorphic individual. In mammals, sex determination equals gonadal development. The second process known as sex differentiation takes place once the sex determination decision has been made through factors produced by the gonads that determine the development of the phenotypic sex. Most of the knowledge on the factors involved in sexual development came from animal models and from studies of cases in whom the genetic or the gonadal sex does not match the phenotypical sex, that is, patients affected by disorders of sex development (DSDs). Generally speaking, factors influencing sex determination are transcriptional regulators, whereas factors important for sex differentiation are secreted hormones and their receptors. This review focuses on these factors and whenever possible, references regarding the 'prismatic' clinical cases are given.

Abstract

The process of sexual differentiation is central for reproduction of almost all metazoan, and therefore, for maintenance of practically all multicellular organisms. In sex development, we can distinguish two different processes, sex determination, that is the developmental decision that directs the undifferentiated embryo into a sexually dimorphic individual. In mammals, sex determination equals gonadal development. The second process known as sex differentiation takes place once the sex determination decision has been made through factors produced by the gonads that determine the development of the phenotypic sex. Most of the knowledge on the factors involved in sexual development came from animal models and from studies of cases in whom the genetic or the gonadal sex does not match the phenotypical sex, that is, patients affected by disorders of sex development (DSDs). Generally speaking, factors influencing sex determination are transcriptional regulators, whereas factors important for sex differentiation are secreted hormones and their receptors. This review focuses on these factors and whenever possible, references regarding the 'prismatic' clinical cases are given.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:04 Jul 2010 14:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:11
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1521-690X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beem.2009.12.002
PubMed ID:20541146

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