Building pathways for ovary organogenesis in the mouse embryo.

Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA.
Current Topics in Developmental Biology (Impact Factor: 4.21). 01/2010; 90:263-90. DOI: 10.1016/S0070-2153(10)90007-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite its significant role in oocyte generation and hormone production in adulthood, the ovary, with regard to its formation, has received little attention compared to its male counterpart, the testis. With the exception of germ cells, which undergo a female-specific pattern of meiosis, morphological changes in the fetal ovary are subtle. Over the past 40 years, a number of hypotheses have been proposed for the organogenesis of the mammalian ovary. It was not until the turn of the millennium, thanks to the advancement of genetic and genomic approaches, that pathways for ovary organogenesis that consist of positive and negative regulators have started to emerge. Through the action of secreted factors (R-spondin1, WNT4, and follistatin) and transcription regulators (beta-catenin and FOXL2), the developmental fate of the somatic cells is directed toward ovarian, while testicular components are suppressed. In this chapter, we review the history of studying ovary organogenesis in mammals and present the most recent discoveries using the mouse as the model organism.

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