The game plan: cellular and molecular mechanisms of mammalian testis development

Dagmar Wilhelm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


In mammals, biological differences between males and females, which influence many aspects of their physical, social, and psychological environments, are solely determined genetically. In the presence of a Y chromosome, the gonadal primordium will differentiate into a testis, whereas in the absence of the Y chromosome an ovary will develop. Testis and ovary subsequently direct the differentiation of all secondary sex characteristics down the male and female pathway, respectively. The male-determining factor on the Y chromosome, SRY, was identified some 20 years ago. Since then, significant progress has been made toward understanding the molecular and cellular pathways that result in the formation of a testis. Here, we review what is known about testis differentiation in mice and humans, with reference to other species where appropriate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231 - 262
Number of pages32
JournalCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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