Differentiation of mouse ectopic germinal cells in intra- and perigonadal locations

J Exp Zool. 1985 Jan;233(1):101-9. doi: 10.1002/jez.1402330114.


Four hundred and thirteen ectopic germinal cells in the testicular and extratesticular stroma and in the rete testis of mouse fetuses from day 13 of uterine development to term were studied together with 161 ectopic germinal cells in the rete ovarii and periovarian stroma of female fetuses at days 17 and 18 of intrauterine life. The morphology and the differentiation of these ectopic germinal cells were compared to those of germinal cells within seminiferous and ovigerous cords. While the ectopic germinal cells in the testis and in the rete testis followed patterns of differentiation identical with those in the seminiferous cords throughout the period included in the study, those in the extratesticular stroma behaved like entopic germinal cells only through day 17, since at days 18 and 19 many of them entered meiotic prophase just like XX germinal cells in the ovigerous cords. No differences were noted between ectopic and entopic ovarian germinal cells. The results of this study show that the factors responsible for the male differentiation of XY germinal cells are not limited to the seminiferous cords but operate throughout the testicular territory, and confirm that outside the testis, XY germinal cells differentiate as female; our study also corroborates the thesis that the differentiation of XX germinal cells is an autonomous and ubiquitous process.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Female
  • Germ Cells / cytology*
  • Germ Cells / ultrastructure
  • Gestational Age
  • Male
  • Mice / embryology*
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Ovary / embryology*
  • Testis / embryology*