Expression of metanephric nephron-patterning genes in differentiating mesonephric tubules

Dev Dyn. 2011 Jun;240(6):1600-12. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.22640. Epub 2011 Apr 12.


The metanephros is the functional organ in adult amniotes while the mesonephros degenerates. However, parallel tubulogenetic events are thought to exist between mesonephros and metanephros. Mesonephric tubules are retained in males and differentiate into efferent ducts of the male reproductive tract. By examining the murine mesonephric expression of markers of distinct stages and regions of metanephric nephrons during tubule formation and patterning, we provide further evidence to support this common morphogenetic mechanism. Renal vesicle, early proximal and distal tubule, loop of Henle, and renal corpuscle genes were expressed by mesonephric tubules. Vip, Slc6a20b, and Slc18a1 were male-specific. In contrast, mining of the GUDMAP database identified candidate late mesonephros-specific genes, 10 of which were restricted to the male. Among the male-specific genes are candidates for regulating ion/fluid balance within the efferent ducts, thereby regulating sperm maturation and genes marking tubule-associated neurons potentially critical for normal male reproductive tract function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Developmental*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Mesonephros / cytology
  • Mesonephros / embryology*
  • Mesonephros / metabolism
  • Mesonephros / physiology
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Nephrons / embryology*
  • Nephrons / metabolism*
  • Organogenesis / genetics
  • Organogenesis / physiology
  • Tissue Distribution