The rhox homeobox gene family shows sexually dimorphic and dynamic expression during mouse embryonic gonad development

H Daggag, Terje Svingen, Patrick Western, Jocelyn van den Bergen, Peter McClive, Vincent Harley, Peter Koopman, Andrew Sinclair

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Reproductive capacity is fundamental to the survival of all species. Consequently, much research has been undertaken to better understand gametogenesis and the interplay between germ cells and the somatic cell lineages of the gonads. In this study, we have analyzed the embryonic expression pattern of the X-linked gene family Reproductive homeobox genes on the X chromosome (Rhox) in mice. Our data show that eight members of the Rhox gene family are developmentally regulated in sexually dimorphic and temporally dynamic patterns in the developing germ cells during early gonadogenesis. These changes coincide with critical stages of differentiation where the germ cells enter either mitotic arrest in the testis or meiotic arrest in the ovary. Finally, we show that Rhox8 (Tox) is the only member of the Rhox gene family that is expressed in the somatic compartment of the embryonic gonads. Our results indicate that the regulation of Rhox gene expression and its potential function during embryogenesis are quite distinct from those previously reported for Rhox gene regulation in postnatal gonads.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468 - 474
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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