Transcriptional profile of mouse pre-granulosa and Sertoli cells isolated from early-differentiated fetal gonads

  • Bouma G
  • Affourtit J
  • Bult C
 et al. 
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Gonadal sex determining (GSD) genes that initiate fetal ovarian and testicular development and differentiation are expressed in the cells of the urogenital ridge that differentiate as somatic support cells (SSCs), i.e., granulosa cells of the ovary and Sertoli cells of the testis. To identify potential new mammalian GSD genes, we used the Mouse Genome 430v2.0 GeneChip™ to analyze gene expression differences between XX and XY SSCs cells isolated from the gonads of embryonic day (E) 13 C57BL/6J fetuses carrying an EGFP reporter transgene expressed specifically in SSCs. In addition, genome wide expression differences between XX and XY E13 whole gonads were examined. Analysis revealed that XX and XY E13 SSCs differentially express 647 transcripts (False Discovery Rate cutoff ≤1%), including transcripts not previously reported to exhibit a sexually dimorphic expression pattern in this unique cell population. Enrichment for genes controlling cell proliferation was noted in XY SSCs, whereas enrichment for genes controlling cell morphology and metabolic status was identified in XX SSCs. Among the newly identified differentially expressed transcripts are potential GSD genes involved in unexplained human sex reversal cases. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Human gonadal sex reversal
  • Microarray
  • Sex determination
  • Somatic support cells

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