Comparing female and male brain structures reveals a variety of sex differences in many vertebrates. These differences are manifested throughout the brain, in regions such as the hypothalamus, the preoptic area and the amygdala. Some are thought to be induced during the fetal period by the effect of steroid hormones produced in the gonads. It is well-established that fetal androgens, probably through the conversion to estrogen by the enzyme aromatase, masculinize the nervous system and set adult mounting behavior in rodents. However, less is known about molecular mechanisms involved in gender-specific development of the brain. We have taken a broad approach to isolate sex-specific genes from fetal brain. mRNAs from 18.5 days post-coitum (dpc) female and male mouse brain were screened with the classical and the recently developed signal peptide differential display (SPDD) and with representational difference analysis of cDNA (cDNA-RDA). Two sex-specific cDNAs were isolated, F29 and M17, corresponding to the female-specific Xist gene and the male-specific Smcy gene, respectively. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
- mRNA differential display
- Representational difference analysis
- Sex development
- Signal peptide differential display
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience