In order to properly complete male reproductive development:

A. primordial germ cells must begin Meiosis I in utero.
B. Sertoli cells must produce testosterone.
C. Dihydrotestosterone must masculinize Wolffian duct derivatives
D. the paramesonephric ducts must degenerate
E. the metanephros must form the genital epithelium

My attempt: I think the answer is C because testosterone turns into DHT which then masculinzing the wolffian duct. Other people I am studying with claim the answer is D (which is true) except that I dont think the loss of the paramesonephric duct is needed to complete male repro development.


1 Answer 1


Regarding option C:

Although it is correct that testosterone is converted into DHT, it is the former, not the latter, which is responsible for differentiation of the mesonephric (a.k.a. Wolffian) ducts:

Between 8 and 12 weeks, the initial secretion of testosterone stimulates mesonephric ducts to transform into a system of organs—the epididymis, vas deferens, and seminal vesicle—that connect the testes with the urethra.*

DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is produced in the Leydig cells by the 5α-Reductase enzyme. It is required for induction of the external male genitalia (urethra, penis, and scrotum) and prostate from the embryonic ureteral groove, and for testicular descent into scrotum.

Regarding option D:

Sertoli cells secrete Anti Müllerian Hormone (AMH), which causes degeneration of the müllerian (a.k.a. paramesonephric) ducts between weeks 8 and 10. It is normal to speak about degeneration of the müllerian ducts as a defining aspect of male embryology, and thus I believe answer D is correct. Your point is taken, however:

Nevertheless, small müllerian duct remnants can be detected in the adult male, including a small cap of tissue associated with the testis, called the appendix testis, and an expansion of the prostatic urethra, called the prostatic utricle.*

*Larsen's Human Embryology , Fourth Edition. Chapter 15: Development of the Urogenital System. pp 479-541. Copyright © 2009 by Churchill Livingstone, an imprint of Elsevier Inc.


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