File:Fetal gonad retinoid receptor expression 01.jpg

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Human Fetal Gonad Retinoid Receptor Expression

Second trimester human fetal testis and ovary.

  • A - RARα staining was detected in germ cell (GC) and peritubular myoid (PTM) nuclei. Two populations of Sertoli cells (SC; immunopositive and immunonegative) could also be detected.
  • B - RARα expression was detected in the nuclei and cytoplasm of germ cells in nests, and in the nuclei of pregranulosa cells (PG) interspersed between germ cells. Mesenchymal somatic cells in streams (CS) displayed variable staining.
  • C - RARβ expression was widespread in the fetal testis with all major cell populations displaying intense nuclear staining.
  • D - variable RARβ expression was detected in the germ cells of the fetal ovary with some displaying intensely stained nuclei or both nuclear and cytoplasmic staining (solid arrows) and others showing little or no staining (dashed arrows). Pregranulosa cells were immunonegative, as were somatic cells in streams, although some displayed nuclear staining for RARβ (arrowheads).
  • E - Peritubular myoid and Sertoli cell nuclei in the testes displayed intense staining for RARβ with weaker expression in detected in germ cells. A population of immunonegative IC was also detected.

The widespread nuclear localization of RA receptors in testis suggests cells of all types (including germ cells) are exposed to RA signals.

  • F - The distribution of immunostaining for RXRα in the fetal ovary was comparable to that of RARβ, with expression restricted to germ cells in nests (GCn) and absent in somatic cell streams and pregranulosa cells.

Magnification: 400× (A, B), 1000× (C–F).


Childs AJ, Cowan G, Kinnell HL, Anderson RA & Saunders PT. (2011). Retinoic Acid signalling and the control of meiotic entry in the human fetal gonad. PLoS ONE , 6, e20249. PMID: 21674038 DOI.


© 2011 Childs et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Text edited from original figure legend. Figure 3. doi:info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0020249.g003

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, April 13) Embryology Fetal gonad retinoid receptor expression 01.jpg. Retrieved from

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current17:48, 21 May 2012Thumbnail for version as of 17:48, 21 May 20121,004 × 1,000 (226 KB)Z8600021 (talk | contribs)Immunohistochemical localisation of retinoid receptor expression in the human fetal gonad. In the second trimester human fetal testis (A) RARα staining was detected in germ cell (GC) and peritubular myoid (PTM) nuclei. Two populations of Sertoli cells (

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