Journal article

Wolffian Duct Development

Geoffrey Shaw, Marilyn B Renfree



The Wolffian ducts (WDs) are the progenitors of the epididymis, vas deferens and seminal vesicles. They form initially as nephric ducts that acquire connection to the developing testis as the mesonephros regresses. The development of the WDs is dependent on androgens. Conventionally, the active androgen is believed to be testosterone delivered locally rather than via the systemic circulation. However, recent studies in marsupials show that 5α-reduced steroids are essential and that these can induce virilisation even when they are delivered via the systemic circulation. The development of the WDs involves an interplay between the duct epithelium and underlying mesenchyme; androgen receptors i..

View full abstract