AMH induces mesonephric cell migration in XX gonads.
Migration of mesonephric cells into XY gonads is a critical early event in testis cord formation. Based on the fact that anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) can induce testis cord formation in XX gonads, we investigated whether AMH plays a role in the induction of cell migration. Addition of recombinant AMH induced mesonephric migration into XX gonads in culture. AMH-treated XX gonads displayed increased vascular development and altered morphology of the coelomic epithelium, both features of normal testis differentiation. AMH did not induce markers of Sertoli or Leydig cell differentiation. We examined early testis development in Amh-deficient mice, but found no abnormalities, suggesting that any function AMH may have in vivo is redundant. Other transforming growth factor (TGF-beta) family proteins, bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP2 and BMP4) show similar inductive effects on XX gonads in culture. Although neither BMP2 nor BMP4 is expressed in embryonic XY gonads, our findings suggest that a TGF-beta signalling pathway endogenous to the XY gonad may be involved in regulation of mesonephric cell migration. The factors involved in this process remain to be identified.
Ross, AJ; Tilman, C; Yao, H; MacLaughlin, D; Capel, B
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