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.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
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.
Csernus, V., Production of Sexual Steroids in Rats during Pre-and Early Postnatal Life, Exp. Clin. Endocrinol., 1986, vol. 88, pp. 1–5.
Forest, M.G., Role of Androgens in Fetal and Pubertal Development, Horm. Res., 1983, vol. 18, pp. 69–83.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parker, K.L., Schedl, A., and Schimmer, B.P., Gene Interactions in Gonadal Development, Annu. Rev. Physiol., 1999, vol. 61, pp. 417–433.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Weniger, J.P., Steroid Secretion by Foetal Mammal Gonads and Its Regulation by Gonadotrophins, Reprod. Nutr. Develop., 1986, vol. 26, pp. 921–932.
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.
About this article
Cite this article
Osadchuk, L.V. Sex-Related Differences in Blood and Gonad Levels of Testosterone in Silver Fox Fetuses. Russian Journal of Developmental Biology 32, 227–231 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016715118102
- silver fox
- fetal gonads
- fetal adrenals
- prenatal development