Journal article

Hormone-Independent Pathways of Sexual Differentiation

Marilyn B Renfree, Keng Yih Chew, Geoffrey Shaw



New observations over the last 25 years of hormone-independent sexual dimorphisms have gradually and unequivocally overturned the dogma, arising from Jost's elegant experiments in the mid-1900s, that all somatic sex dimorphisms in vertebrates arise from the action of gonadal hormones. Although we know that Sry, a Y-linked gene, is the primary gonadal sex determinant in mammals, more recent analysis in marsupials, mice, and finches has highlighted numerous sexual dimorphisms that are evident well before the differentiation of the testis and which cannot be explained by a sexually dimorphic hormonal environment. In marsupials, scrotal bulges and mammary primordia are visible before the testis ..

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