Royal Society Publishing

Sex Reversal in C57BL/6J-Y<latex>$^{\text{POS}}$</latex> Mice Corrected by a Sry Transgene [and Discussion]

Eva M. Eicher, Elaine P. Shown, Linda L. Washburn, P. Burgoyne, M. A. Ferguson-Smith, U. Mittwoch


C57BL/6J mice carrying a Mus domesticus poschiavinus Y chromosome (Y<latex>$^{\text{POS}}$</latex>) develop as females with ovarian tissue or as hermaphrodites with ovarian and testicular tissue. We tested the hypothesis that the Y-linked component of this inherited sex reversal is caused by the M. d. poschiavinus Y-linked testis determining gene (symbolized Tdy or Sry) by examining gonadal development in C57BL/6J XY<latex>$^{\text{POS}}$</latex> mice carrying a M. musculus allele of Sry as a transgene. We found that in the presence of the transgene, XY<latex>$^{\text{POS}}$</latex> mice developed exclusively testicular tissue. This result indicates that the Sry allele carried on the Y<latex>$^{\text{POS}}$</latex> chromosome is responsible for development of ovarian tissue in the C57BL/6J inbred strain background. We discuss this finding in light of DNA polymorphisms present in Sry alleles carried by various M. domesticus and M. musculus Y chromosomes. In addition, we present a hypothesis concerning the timing of expression of the testicular and ovarian determining genes in the developing fetal gonad based on the organization of ovarian and testicular tissue in ovotestes.

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