Closed ‘back door’ linked to sex disorder

Wendy Zukerman

A SEXUAL development disorder in baby boys may be due to the absence of a hormone-production pathway identified in wallabies. The finding could help diagnose cases of ambiguous genitalia.

One in 4500 babies has gene mutations that disrupt normal development of testes or ovaries in the womb. These children can be born with external genitalia that do not look typically female or male.

In humans, normal development of the testes relies on two male hormones – testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The latter is the more potent, and is produced when testosterone is broken down.

Wallabies and some rodents are known to be able to make DHT via two different routes, one of which bypasses testosterone completely. The process works by converting cholesterol, the precursor to testosterone, directly into DHT.

Read More>>

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: