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Embryology Related to Development in Males and Females

The sexual differentiation depends on sex determining region (SRY region) present on short arm of Y-chromosome.


If Y -chromosome is present gonads which are initially bipotential develop into testes


If SRY region is absent, i. e Y chromosome is absent gonads develop into Ovaries

In Male

Y chromosome is present / SRY region is present

Bipotential gonads form Testis (6-7 weeks)

Sertoli cells

Leydig cells

Produce Mullerian inhibiting factor (also called as antimüllerian factor) by 6-7 weeks

Testosterone (by 8 weeks)

Regression of Mullerian ducts

Promotes growth of Wolffian duct - which forms the male internal genital organs viz.

Enzyme 5-α reductase converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone

Remnant of mullerian duct in a males is - 'appendix of testis'

Vas deferens, epididymis seminal vesicles.

Promotes the growth of external genitalia in males

Under the influence of dihydrotestosterone

  • Genital tubercle forms glans penis
  • Genital swellings forms scrotum
  • Genital folds forms penile urethra
  • Male development is complete by 12 weeks

In Female

Y chromosome is absent

SRY region is absent

Gonads = Ovaries are formed (by 8-10 weeks)

Sertoli cells are absent

Leydig cells are absent

Testosterone is not converted into dihydrotestosterone

Mullerian inhibiting factor is not formed

Testosterone is absent


Mullerian duct grows and forms internal genitalia in females viz

Wolffian duct regresses- remnants of wolffian duct in females

In absence of dihydro testosterone external genitalia of females are formed

  • Fallopian tube
  • Uterus
  • Cervix
  • Upper 2/3rd part of vagina
  • Epoophoron
  • Paroophoron
  • Gartners duct

In females:

  • Genital tubercle forms clitoris
  • Genital swellings forms Labia Majora
  • Genital folds forms Labia minora

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