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Int J Dev Biol 1990 Jun 01;342:281-5.
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Determination of the sensitive stages for gonadal sex-reversal in Xenopus laevis tadpoles.

Villalpando I , Merchant-Larios H .

The response of developing gonads of the clawed toad Xenopus laevis tadpoles to estradiol benzoate (EB) was studied between stages 44 and 67 using high resolution techniques. In presumptive genetic males the following results were obtained: 1) 100% sex reversal was induced when EB was administered before translocation of primordial germ cells (PGCs) from the gonadal epithelium into the medullary region (stages 44-50). 2) Ambiguous gonads were formed when EB treatment was initiated at stages 51-54, when PGCs were migrating into the medullary region. 3) Finally, normal testes differentiated when EB treatment began after the primordial germ cells had completed their translocation into the medulla (stages 55-56). These results suggest that EB might induce sex-reversal in genetic males by disruption of early somatic-germ cell interactions in the medullary region of the gonad. Consequently, later morphogenetic events might be deranged, preventing differentiation of testis. We propose a hypothesis in which precocious production of estradiol (E2) by genotypic females is the mechanism for primary sex differentiation.

PubMed ID: 2386730
Article link: Int J Dev Biol