5 years ago


In turtles undergoing temperature sex determination (TSD), bipotential gonads express Sox9 in medullary cords at both female- (FPT) and male-producing temperatures (MPT). Subsequently, when the sex fate of medullary cords becomes dimorphic, at FPT, Sox9 is downregulated, whereas at MPT, its expression is maintained. Medullary cords in the ovary turn into ovarian lacuna, whereas in the testis they differentiate as seminiferous cords. When embryos of Lepidochelys olivacea sea turtle are incubated at MPT and treated with estradiol, Sox9 expression persists in the medullary cords in the form of tiny ovotestis-like formations. The perturbed development of the treated gonads is due to a significant decrease in the number of proliferating cells. This suggests that the disturbed effect caused by exogenous estradiol may be due to a conflict between the gene networks regulated by temperature and the increased level of endogenous estrogens, induced by the treatment. Here, we decided to use fadrozole and fulvestrant, an aromatase inhibitor and an estrogen-receptor antagonist, respectively, to provide insights into the role played by endogenous estrogens in regulating the cell proliferation of the two main gonadal compartments: the medullary cords and the cortex. Comparing cell proliferation patterns, our current results suggest that the endogenous estrogens are involved in determining the sex fate of medullary cords, by repressing proliferation. Interestingly, our results showed that endogenous estradiol levels are unnecessary for the thickening of the ovarian cortex.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0012160617302415

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