Overview of Embryological and Fetal Development of the Ovary and Testis

  • Luciano Zamboni


The events that take place in the urogenital region during mammalian embryonal and fetal life represent ideal subjects of study for those interested in cellular differentiation and organogenesis. Within a short period of time, from a few hours in species with short gestational periods to no more than several days in those with longer ones, the urogenital region witnesses the arrival of the primordial germ cells (PGCs), their colonization of the genital folds, and the concomitant “activation” of the cells preexisting in the area, major phenomena that culminate in the development of a sexually indifferent gonad. The subsequent differentiation of the latter into a testis or an ovary is accompanied by the maturation of the PGCs into germinal elements with distinct sexually dimorphic characteristics, the development of a complex system of blood vessels and nerves, the differentiation of interstitial elements with important endocrine functions, the sexually dimorphic involution/transformation of the mesonephros, and the organization of the metanephros as the definitive excretory organ.


Germ Cell Somatic Cell Gonadal Development Primordial Germ Cell Meiotic Prophase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciano Zamboni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyHarbor-UCLA Medical CenterTorranceUSA

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