Differences in gonadal secretions cause sex differences in the brain; the male brain develops differently than the female brain because of higher levels of testosterone during fetal and neonatal life. Using mice in which the genetic sex of the brain (XX versus XY) was independent of gonadal phenotype (testes versus ovaries), it was found (Nature Neuroscience) that XY and XX brain cells differed in phenotype, indicating that a brain cell’s complement of sex chromosomes may contribute to its sexual differentiation. The ‘in vitro’ system described offers significant advantages for unraveling the cellular and molecular mechanisms of sex-chromosome gene action.
Arthur P. Arnold
Dept. Physiol. Sci. and Lab. Of Neuroendocrinology
Brain Research Institute
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Neuroscience press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza