Neurogenetics

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 281–288

The Y-chromosomal genes SRY and ZFY are transcribed in adult human brain

Authors

  • Anette Mayer
    • Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Ulm, D-89069 Ulm, Germany
  • Georgia Lahr
    • Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Ulm, D-89069 Ulm, Germany
  • Dick F. Swaab
    • The Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, 1105 AZ Amsterdam ZO, The Netherlands
  • Christof Pilgrim
    • Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Ulm, D-89069 Ulm, Germany
  • I. Reisert
    • Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Ulm, D-89069 Ulm, Germany
Original article

DOI: 10.1007/s100480050042

Cite this article as:
Mayer, A., Lahr, G., Swaab, D. et al. Neurogenetics (1998) 1: 281. doi:10.1007/s100480050042

ABSTRACT

Sexual differentiation of the brain is thought to be regulated by hormonal signals from the developing male gonad. However, more-recent experimental and clinical data throw some doubt on the general validity of the "classical" steroid hypothesis and suggest that additional intervening factors or mechanisms need to be considered. In particular, it is now envisaged that neurons are capable of acquiring sex-specific properties independently of their hormonal environment. Here we show that two Y-chromosomal genes involved in sex determination of the gonad, SRY and ZFY, are transcribed in hypothalamus, and frontal and temporal cortex of the adult male human brain. These genes are candidates for male-specific transcriptional regulators that could confer upon human brain cells the potential for hormone-independent realization and maintenance of genetic sex.

Key words SRYZFYSexual differentiationHypothalamusCortex

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998