Russian Journal of Developmental Biology

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 227–231 | Cite as

Sex-Related Differences in Blood and Gonad Levels of Testosterone in Silver Fox Fetuses

  • L. V. Osadchuk


The mass of silver fox fetuses of both sexes, their gonads, and adrenals, and the levels of testosterone in the blood serum and in gonads and adrenals were determined from day 31 of gestation and every five days thereafter until its termination. Marked sex-related differences were revealed: the blood and gonad levels of testosterone in male fetuses were much higher than those in female fetuses. The fetal adrenals contained significantly less testosterone than the gonads. No sex-related differences in the content of testosterone in the fetal adrenals were found. No differences were found in the body and adrenal mass in female and male fetuses at all the developmental stages studied, while the mass of ovaries exceeded that of testes from day 45 of gestation. The data obtained suggest sex dimorphism in the production of testosterone by gonads in silver foxes appears after day 35 and appears to correspond to the period of morphological differentiation of gonads.

silver fox testosterone fetal gonads fetal adrenals prenatal development 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Byskov, A.G. and Hoyer, P.E., Embryology of Mammalian Gonads and Ducts, The Physiology of Reproduction, Knobil, E. and Neill, J.D., Eds., New York: Raven, 1994, pp. 487–540.Google Scholar
  2. Csernus, V., Production of Sexual Steroids in Rats during Pre-and Early Postnatal Life, Exp. Clin. Endocrinol., 1986, vol. 88, pp. 1–5.Google Scholar
  3. Forest, M.G., Role of Androgens in Fetal and Pubertal Development, Horm. Res., 1983, vol. 18, pp. 69–83.Google Scholar
  4. Greco, T. and Payne, A., Ontogeny of Expression of the Genes for Steroidogenic Enzymes P 450 Side-Chain Cleavage, 3β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase, P450 17α-Hydroxylase/C17–20 Lyase, and P450 Aromatase in Fetal Mouse Gonads, Endocrinology, 1994, vol. 135, pp. 262–268.Google Scholar
  5. Habert, R. and Picon, R., Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone and Estradiol-17βLevels in Maternal and Fetal Plasma and in Fetal Testes in the Rat, J. Steroid. Biochem., 1984, vol. 21, pp. 193–198.Google Scholar
  6. Huhtaniemi, I., Pituitary Control of Fetal and Adult Leydig Cells and Physiological Regulation of Gonadotropin Gene Expression and Secretion in the Male, Function of Somatic Cells in the Testis, Bartke, A., Ed., New York: Springer-Verlag, 1994, pp. 205–232.Google Scholar
  7. Huhtaniemi, I., Pakarinen, P., Markkula, M., et al., Molecular Aspects in the Ontogeny of Gonadotropin Secretion and Action, GnRH, GnRH Analogs, Gonadotropins and Gonadal Peptides, Bouchard, P. et al., Eds., London: Parthenon, 1992, pp. 357–370.Google Scholar
  8. Osadchuk, L.V. and Shurkalova, T.A., Testosterone Level in Testes of Silver Foxes during Prenatal Development, Ontogenez, 1992, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 385–389.Google Scholar
  9. Paine, A.H. and Jaffe, R.B., Comparison of Androgen Synthesis in Human Fetal Testis and Adrenal: 3β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase/Isomerase and 17β-Steroid Dehydrogenase Activities, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1972, vol. 279, pp. 202–207.Google Scholar
  10. Parker, K.L., Schedl, A., and Schimmer, B.P., Gene Interactions in Gonadal Development, Annu. Rev. Physiol., 1999, vol. 61, pp. 417–433.Google Scholar
  11. Picon, R., Pelloux, M.C., Benhaim, A., and Gloaguen, F., Conversion of Androgen to Estrogen by the Rat Fetal and Neonatal Female Gonad: Effects of dcAMP and FSH, J. Steroid Biochem., 1985, vol. 23, no. 6A, pp. 995–1000.Google Scholar
  12. Picon, R., Darmoul, D., Rouiller, V., and Duranteau, L., Activity of 3β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase/Isomerase in the Fetal Rat Ovary, J. Steroid Biochem., 1988, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 839–843.Google Scholar
  13. Rouiller, V., Gangnerau, M.N., and Picon, R., Production of C21 Steroids in Rat Fetal Ovaries, J. Steroid Biochem., 1988, vol. 31, no. 4A, pp. 447–452.Google Scholar
  14. Shishkina, G.T. and Dygalo, N.N., Genes, Hormones, and Risk Factors in Formation of the Male Genotype, Uspekhi Fiziol. Nauk, 1999, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 49–61.Google Scholar
  15. Slob, A.K., Ooms, M.P., and Vreeburg, J.T.M., Prenatal and Early Postnatal Sex Differences in Plasma and Gonadal Testosterone and Plasma Luteinizing Hormone in Female and Male Rats, J. Endocrinol., 1980, vol. 87, pp. 81–87.Google Scholar
  16. Sokka, T.A. and Huhtaniemi, I., Ontogeny of Gonadotrophin Receptors and Gonadotrophin-Stimulated Cyclic AMP Production in the Neonatal Rat Ovary, J. Endocrinol., 1990, vol. 127, pp. 297–303.Google Scholar
  17. Terada, N., Takada, T., Yamamoto, R., et al., Aromatase Activity in Cultured Ovaries from Fetal and Neonatal Golden Hamsters, Exp. Clin. Endocrinol., 1990, vol. 94, no. 3, pp. 227–323.Google Scholar
  18. Valtonen, M., King, W.A., Gustavsson, L., and Makinen, A., Embryonic Development in the Blue Fox, Nord. Vet. Med., 1985, vol. 37, pp. 213–218.Google Scholar
  19. Weisz, J. and Ward, I.L., PlasmaTestosterone and Progesterone Titers of Pregnant Rats, Their Male and Female Fetuses, and Neonatal Offspring, Endocrinology, 1980, vol. 106, pp. 306–316.Google Scholar
  20. Weniger, J.P., Steroid Secretion by Foetal Mammal Gonads and Its Regulation by Gonadotrophins, Reprod. Nutr. Develop., 1986, vol. 26, pp. 921–932.Google Scholar
  21. Zhelezova, A.I., Prenatal Development of Silver Foxes. 1. Morphochronological Analysis of Postimplantation Developmental Stages, Endokrinologiya razmnozheniya pushnykh zverei (Endocrinology of Reproduction of Fur Animals), Osadchuk, L.V., Ed., Novosibirsk: Inst. Tsitolol. Genet. SO RAN, 1992, pp. 37–52.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica” 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. V. Osadchuk
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Cytology and GeneticsSiberian Branch of the Russian Academy of SciencesNovosibirskRussia

Personalised recommendations