Estrogen target cells in gonads of the chicken embryo during sexual differentiation.
- J M Gasc
- Journal of embryology and experimental morphology
Male chick embryos of a sex-linked cross were injected with 0.1 mg of estradiol benzoate on the fourth day of incubation. Their left gonads, together with ovaries from uninjected control females, were dissected at various intervals after hatching and processed for electron microscopic study. At the time of hatching no differences were found between the intersexual gonads of treated chicks and control ovaries with the exception of the presence, in the former, of great number of germ cells in interphase. Cortical degeneration in intersexual gonads began on the third day and was almost completed by the tenth. During this period germ cells underwent cytolysis while accompanying pre-follicular cells showed cytological characteristics which were undistinguishable from those found in control ovaries. This fact tends to suggest that the primary incompetency responsible for cortical degeneration lies in the germ cells and not in the pre-follicular cells.