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MIS/AMH in the assessment of cryptorchidism and intersex conditions

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:51pm

Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS), also known as anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), causes Mullerian duct involution during male sexual differentiation and also has a postnatal regulatory role in the gonads. Serum MIS/AMH has a gonad specific pattern of expression and its concentrations are sexually dimorphic in children; hence measurement of serum MIS/AMH helps in the evaluation of children with gonadal disorders. In boys with cryptorchidism (non-palpable gonads), serum MIS/AMH correlates with testicular tissue. A measurable value is predictive of undescended testes while an undetectable value is highly suggestive of anorchia. In minimally virilized phenotypic females, MIS/AMH helps differentiate between gonadal and non-gonadal causes of virilization. In children with intersex conditions, MIS/AMH values assist differential diagnosis: a value above the normal female range is predictive of testicular tissue, while an undetectable value is suggestive of absent testicular tissue. Thus, MIS/AMH is useful for delineating gonadal pathology and facilitates the differential diagnosis and management of children with diverse gonadal disorders.

Physical growth and sexual maturation of boys in Chapaevsk, Russia

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:51pm

We characterized physical growth and sexual maturation in 2,579 boys, ages 10 through 16.99 years, residing in Chapaevsk, Russia in order to establish region-specific reference data. Age-specific norms were established for height, weight, and BMI, and compared to US reference data by z-score analysis, while mean heights and weights by age were compared to published national Russian data. Compared to US boys, height was slightly lower (overall z-score -0.18) at all ages except the oldest (16-16.99 yr), while weight and BMI were moderately lower (overall z-score -0.52 and -0.61, respectively). Chapaevsk boys were significantly taller (1.15 cm) and thinner (-1.28 kg) than the broader Russian sample. The median ages of stage 2 genitalia and pubic hair development were 11.9 and 12.7 years, respectively. In conclusion, Chapaevsk boys are thinner than both US and Russian boys, and have a later onset of puberty and attainment of sexual maturity than boys from other countries.

The role of Mullerian inhibiting substance in the evaluation of phenotypic female patients with mild degrees of virilization

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:51pm

Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS) is a sexually dimorphic gonadal hormone with proven efficacy in the evaluation of boys with cryptorchidism and children with intersex conditions. We examined the role of MIS determination in the evaluation of 65 phenotypic females with mild virilization. Among the 28 subjects with MIS values elevated above the normal female range, all had abnormal gonadal tissue: ovotestes in 11, testes in 7, dysgenetic gonads in 7, and MIS-secreting ovarian tumors in 3. Among the 37 children with serum MIS in the normal female range, 19 had detectable MIS and 18 had unmeasurable MIS. In the former group with measurable but normal female MIS values, 16 subjects had ovaries, 1 had an ovotestis, and 1 had dysgenetic gonads containing testicular elements. Of 18 children with undetectable MIS values, 16 had ovaries and 2 had ovarian dysgenesis. In this study, elevation of serum MIS above the normal female range was consistently associated with the presence of testicular tissue or MIS- secreting tumors, mandating additional evaluation and surgical exploration. A value within the normal female range in a virilized patient did not exclude dysgenetic testicular tissue or ovotestis, whereas undetectable values were consistent with the absence of testicular tissue.

Insulin pump therapy in toddlers and preschool children with type 1 diabetes mellitus

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:51pm

OBJECTIVE: To test whether glycemic control in young children could be achieved more effectively and safely by using continuous insulin infusions administered by insulin pumps.

STUDY DESIGN: We analyzed the effects of pump therapy in nine toddlers in whom type 1 diabetes developed between the ages of 10 and 40 months. After a mean of 13.7 months of therapy with multiple daily injections, patients were treated with insulin pumps for periods ranging from 7 to 19 months (mean, 12.7 months).

RESULTS: Before initiation of pump therapy, HbA1c levels averaged 9.5% +/- 0.4%, and patients had a mean of 0.52 episodes per month of severe hypoglycemia (uncontrolled shaking, inconsolable crying, disorientation, or seizures). After initiation of pump therapy, HbA1c levels declined to 7.9% +/- 0.3% (P 80%, reflecting increasing parental confidence and independence in diabetic care. Subjective assessments revealed significant improvements in quality of life and high levels of satisfaction with pump therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: Insulin pump therapy may provide an effective alternative for selected preschool children with type 1 diabetes.

Measurement of Mullerian inhibiting substance facilitates management of boys with microphallus and cryptorchidism

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:51pm

Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS) is a gonadal hormone expressed in a sexually dimorphic pattern. In males, serum MIS reflects Sertoli cell function and provides an estimate of seminiferous tubular integrity. We examined the role of MIS determination in the evaluation of boys with microphallus (n = 62) and/or cryptorchidism (n = 156). MIS was normal in 69.2% of boys with isolated microphallus compared with 38.1% of boys with microphallus and coexisting cryptorchidism (P < 0.05). In the cryptorchid group, MIS was normal in 46.8%, low in 24.4%, and absent in 28.8%. Normal values for age were associated with testicular tissue, whereas undetectable values were indicative of anorchia, except for two boys with MIS gene mutations (persistent Mullerian duct syndrome). These data demonstrated that a basal MIS measurement is more specific and has a higher positive predictive value than stimulated testosterone values for ascertaining the absence of testes (anorchia). In summary, a normal serum MIS concentration in the prepubertal child is a reliable determinant of testicular tissue, whereas an undetectable value is a highly sensitive initial screening test for anorchia. We conclude that preoperative measurement of MIS facilitates the management of children with cryptorchidism and intersex disorders and offers a measure of Sertoli cell function.

Mullerian inhibiting substance inhibits testosterone synthesis in adult rats

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:51pm

Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS) is a gonadal hormone that causes regression of the Mullerian ducts during male sexual differentiation. Postnatally, MIS inhibits the proliferation and differentiation of immature Leydig cells, and transgenic mice that overexpress MIS have decreased serum testosterone concentrations. To elucidate the effects of MIS on androgen regulation in the postnatal testis, we examined testosterone synthesis in adult Sprague-Dawley rats following intratesticular and intraperitoneal injections of MIS. Intratesticular MIS injection achieved high local concentrations of MIS (574.0 +/- 60.0 ng/mL) at 4 hours, with a corresponding decline in serum testosterone concentrations to 0.7 +/- 0.1 ng/mL, compared to 1.1 +/- 0.2 ng/mL with intraperitoneal MIS and 1.6 +/- 0.1 ng/mL with intratesticular vehicle (IT-Veh) (P < .001). Intratesticular administration of MIS (IT-MIS) resulted in much higher serum and testicular interstitial fluid MIS concentrations than the intraperitoneal route. To directly examine the testosterone production rate in MIS-treated animals, we isolated Leydig cells from MIS and vehicle-injected testes. Primary Leydig cells exposed to MIS had a lower testosterone production rate and decreased expression of p450c17 (hydroxylase/lyase) and luteinizing hormone (LH) receptor mRNAs than that of vehicle-injected controls or the noninjected contralateral testis. In conclusion, intratesticular administration of MIS caused a decline in serum testosterone concentrations by decreasing the rate of testosterone biosynthesis, confirming that MIS can regulate adult Leydig cell androgen production. The ability of MIS to down-regulate mRNA expression of the p450c17 and LH receptor genes suggests that this effect is mediated transcriptionally. These data indicate that, in addition to its role in embryonic differentiation of the male reproductive tract, MIS has a regulatory function in the postnatal testis. We conclude that one such function is for MIS to directly inhibit adult Leydig cell steroidogenesis.

Mullerian-inhibiting substance type II receptor expression and function in purified rat Leydig cells

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

Mullerian-inhibiting substance (MIS), a gonadal hormone in the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily, induces Mullerian duct involution during male sexual differentiation. Mice with null mutations of the MIS ligand or receptor develop Leydig cell hyperplasia and neoplasia in addition to retained Mullerian ducts, whereas MIS-overexpressing transgenic mice have decreased testosterone concentrations and Leydig cell numbers. We hypothesized that MIS directly modulates Leydig cell proliferation and differentiated function in the maturing testis. Therefore, highly purified rat Leydig and Sertoli cells were isolated to examine cell-specific expression, binding, and function of the MIS type II receptor. These studies revealed that this receptor is expressed abundantly in progenitor (21-day) and immature (35-day) Leydig cells as well as in Sertoli cells. Prepubertal progenitor Leydig cells exhibit high affinity (Kd = 15 nM), saturable binding of MIS. No binding, however, is detected with either peripubertal immature Leydig cells or Sertoli cells at either age. Moreover, progenitor, but not immature Leydig cells, respond to MIS by decreasing DNA synthesis. These data demonstrate that functional MIS type II receptors are expressed in progenitor Leydig cells and support the hypothesis that MIS has a direct role in the regulation of postnatal testicular development.

Diagnostic utility of Mullerian inhibiting substance determination in patients with primary and recurrent granulosa cell tumors

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

OBJECTIVES: In this study we evaluated changes in serum Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS) concentration in a large number of patients with granulosa cell tumors (GCT) to determine whether MIS is elevated at the time of presentation and whether MIS is an index of successful surgical resection and management of recurrences.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed MIS levels from 17 subjects prior to tumor resection and studied serial MIS samples from 56 subjects following initial tumor resection. Clinical follow-up information was available for 36 of those with postoperative MIS values. Serum MIS was measured by an ELISA. MIS values were compared to a combination of normative values previously established in our laboratory and from more recently obtained samples from older pre- and postmenopausal women, using this assay.

RESULTS: Serum MIS was elevated pre-operatively in 6 of 8 (75%) subjects with juvenile GCTs and in 7 of 9 (78%) of those with adult GCTs relative to age-matched controls (76% for both types combined). Post-operative clinical correlation was available for 36 patients. There was no clinical recurrence in 21 subjects with normal or undetectable postoperative values, and incompletely resectable tumor or recurrence was identified in 6 of 15 patients with elevated postoperative values.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study demonstrate that postoperative serum MIS concentrations may be used to evaluate the completeness of tumor removal following initial surgery and that serial MIS determinations may allow the detection of recurrences.

Measurements of serum mullerian inhibiting substance in the evaluation of children with nonpalpable gonads

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

BACKGROUND: Mullerian inhibiting substance, produced constitutively by the prepubertal testes, promotes involution of the mullerian ducts during normal male sexual differentiation. In children with virilization and nonpalpable gonads, only those with testicular tissue should have detectable serum concentrations of mullerian inhibiting substance.

METHODS: We measured serum mullerian inhibiting substance in 65 children with virilization at birth and nonpalpable gonads (age at diagnosis, 2 days to 11 years) and serum testosterone in 54 of them either after the administration of human chorionic gonadotropin or during the physiologic rise in testosterone that occurs in normal infants.

RESULTS: The mean (+/-SD) serum mullerian inhibiting substance concentration in the 17 children with no testicular tissue was 0.7+/-0.5 ng per milliliter, as compared with 37.5+/-39.6 ng per milliliter in the 48 children with testes (P

CONCLUSIONS: Measurements of serum mullerian inhibiting substance can be used to determine testicular status in prepubertal children with nonpalpable gonads, thus differentiating anorchia from undescended testes in boys with bilateral cryptorchidism and serving as a measure of testicular integrity in children with intersexual anomalies.

Developmental expression of a candidate mullerian inhibiting substance type II receptor

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

We have isolated a candidate Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS) type II receptor complementary DNA from an embryonic rat urogenital ridge library and have studied its binding to MIS, its developmental pattern of expression and tissue distribution. By in situ hybridization with a full-length riboprobe, the receptor is expressed in the mesenchymal cells surrounding the Mullerian duct at embryonic days 14, 15, and 16 and in tubular and follicular structures of the rat fetal gonads. Expression of the messenger RNA was also seen in the granules cells and seminiferous tubules of pubertal gonads. Northern analysis revealed that the MIS type II receptor messenger RNA is highly expressed in embryonic, pubertal, and adult testes and ovaries, as well as in the gravid uterus. The timing of expression in the gonads of both sexes was also analyzed by Northern analyses that showed high levels of expression at the time of Mullerian duct regression, much lower levels neonatally and prepubertally and then increased expression again with sexual maturation. The tissue and developmental specificity of expression of this receptor, which make it likely that this is the functional MIS type II receptor, can be used to advantage in therapeutic targeting strategies and to decipher the function of MIS in the gonads.

Mullerian inhibiting substance in humans: normal levels from infancy to adulthood

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

Mullerian-inhibiting substance (MIS) is a gonadal hormone synthesized by Sertoli cells of the testis and granulosa cells of the ovary. To facilitate the use of MIS for the evaluation of intersex disorders and as a tumor marker in women with MIS-expressing ovarian tumors, we measured MIS in 600 serum samples from males and females. These data show that mean MIS values for males rise rapidly during the first year of life and are highest during late infancy, then gradually decline until puberty. In contrast, MIS values in females are lowest at birth and exhibit a minimal increase throughout the prepubertal years. Whereas MIS is uniformly measurable in all prepubertal boys studied, it is undetectable in most prepubertal female subjects. These data reveal an easily discernible sexually dimorphic pattern of expression and confirm that MIS can be used as a testis-specific marker during infancy and early childhood. MIS values that are above the upper limits for females are discriminatory for the presence of testicular tissue or ovarian tumor, and those below the lower limits for males are consistent with dysgenetic or absent testes or the presence of ovarian tissue. These data will enable normal and abnormal levels of MIS to be differentiated with higher precision and will facilitate the use of MIS in the management of gonadal disorders.

Correlation of cognitive test scores and adequacy of treatment in adolescents with congenital hypothyroidism.

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

PURPOSE: To measure the frequency of noncompliance and its possible effect on school achievement test and cognitive test scores in our older patients with congenital hypothyroidism.

METHODS: Fifty patients born from 1976 through 1978 were studied at home when they were 14 years of age. Each patient was given a battery of psychometric and school achievement tests, and blood for hormonal assays was drawn without forewarning from 36 of the patients on the day of examination. Efforts were made to improve control after the second year. During the third summer the tests were repeated in 25 of the 29 patients who had been tested at the age of 14; thyrotropin and thyroxine concentrations were measured in 23 of these 25 patients.

RESULTS: At the age of 14 years 16 of the 36 children had poorly controlled hypothyroidism, as defined by thyrotropin values greater than 15 mU/L. Of these 16 patients, 13 also had thyroxine concentrations of less than 85 nmol/L (6.6 micrograms/dl). A second examination at 15 or 16 years of age disclosed significant improvements in hormonal concentrations without changes in thyroxine dosage. Poor control was demonstrated on at least one occasion in 74% of 27 children older than 12 years of age who had 3 to 8 thyrotropin measurements during a period of 9 months. Cognitive test results in the patients did not differ from those in control subjects or from previous test results in the same children. The improved hormonal concentrations at the age of 15 or 16 years, however, were accompanied by significant improvement in cognitive test results; mean IQ increased from 106 to 112 (p = 0.002). Patients with greater improvement in hormonal values had significantly greater improvement in IQ.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of noncompliance in the adolescent children of our cohort with congenital hypothyroidism was high. Subsequent improvement in thyroid control was associated with significant improvement in psychometric test scores.

Developmental changes in mullerian inhibiting substance in the cynomolgus monkey, Macaca fascicularis

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS) is a glycoprotein hormone produced in Sertoli cells of the fetal and postnatal testis, and granulosa cells of the pubertal ovary. We examined MIS expression in a nonhuman primate, the cynomolgus macaque monkey (Macaca fascicularis), to define an animal model for studying MIS gene regulation. Changes in testicular MIS mRNA with age were assessed by in situ hybridization of prepubertal to adult testes, Northern analysis of pubertal and adult specimens, and determination of serum MIS concentrations from infancy to adulthood. We found that MIS expression was highest in the youngest animals and decreased progressively with increasing age. Serum MIS concentrations correlated inversely with increasing age (r = -0.74), body weight (r = -0.79), and testicular volume (r = -0.73), but not with testosterone levels (r = -0.35). The mean MIS concentrations +/- SEM for the four developmental age groups were 270.6 +/- 23.8 (infants), 195.5 +/- 18.5 (juveniles), 102.7 +/- 28.4 (peripubertals), and 51.6 +/- 7.1 (adults). This study confirms that nonhuman primate and human MIS are highly homologous and have similar developmental patterns. The normative data for serum MIS concentrations in cynomolgus monkeys at different ages and developmental stages will be invaluable for further work examining MIS regulation.

Mullerian inhibiting substance is present in embryonic testes of dogs with persistent mullerian duct syndrome

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS) causes regression of the Mullerian ducts during a critical period in embryonic development in male mammals. In Persistent Mullerian Duct Syndrome (PMDS), an autosomal recessive trait in humans and dogs, the Mullerian ducts fail to regress in otherwise normal males. Previously we reported that PMDS-affected dogs produce bioactive testicular MIS postnatally. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether PMDS-affected canine embryos appropriately express MIS mRNA and protein during the critical period for Mullerian duct regression. Homozygous (PMDS-affected) and normal canine embryos were removed from timed pregnancies. Gonadal sex and the degree of Mullerian duct regression were determined from histologic sections. Positive immunohistochemical staining for MIS was found in testis sections of PMDS-affected and normal male embryos. A 1.8-kb MIS mRNA transcript was detected in testes of PMDS-affected males and normal male embryos and neonates. Furthermore, equal amounts of MIS mRNA transcript were detected in testes of PMDS-affected embryos and normal male littermates during the critical period for Mullerian duct regression. These data support a hypothesis of target organ resistance, such as an abnormality in the putative MIS receptor, as the etiology of the defect in this dog model.

Mullerian inhibiting substance in the diagnosis and management of intersex and gonadal abnormalities

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS), a gonadal hormone important in sexual differentiation, is high (10 to 70 ng/mL) in human male serum postnatally for several years before declining during the peripubertal period, but is undetectable in female serum until the onset of puberty. The sexually dimorphic secretion of MIS suggested possibilities for its use in several clinical settings. Thirty-one patients with intersex and gonadal anomalies from 17 institutions were therefore evaluated between 1989 and 1992 with an MIS enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Serum MIS levels correlated with the presence of testicular tissue in two patients with suspected anorchia, five patients with male pseudohermaphroditism, and eight other intersex patients with undescended testes, dysgenetic gonads, or ovotestes. In these latter patients, serial MIS values were also helpful to confirm complete removal of gonadal tissue postoperatively. MIS may be a more sensitive marker for the presence of testicular tissue than serum testosterone levels, both before and after the neonatal androgen surge, and, consequently, may obviate the need for human chorionic gonadotropin stimulation in the evaluation of certain intersex disorders. In values were useful in differentiating the underlying etiology of the disorder. Four patients with undetectable levels have presumptive MIS gene mutations, while 7 others with MIS values of 2 to 45 ng/mL may have bioinactive hormone of MIS receptor defects. Finally, two young girls with ovarian granulosa cell tumors had elevated MIS values that fell from 18 to 2 ng/mL and from 6.5 to 1 ng/mL during postoperative follow-up. The MIS level in the latter patient has recently increased to 7.2 ng/mL, raising the question of residual tumor. Data in adults with similar sex cord tumors suggest that serum MIS can be followed in these patients as a marker for persistent or recurrent disease. Thus, the determination of serum MIS concentrations is useful in the diagnosis and management of patients with a variety of intersex and gonadal abnormalities.

Mullerian inhibiting substance messenger ribonucleic acid expression in granulosa and Sertoli cells coincides with their mitotic activity

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

In males, Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS) mRNA was first detected on the medial aspect of the urogenital ridge early on the morning of day 13 of gestation before testicular differentiation was evident, and localized to the more obvious Sertoli cells later on embryonic day 13. MIS transcripts remained at maximal levels between 14.5 and 17.5 days gestation, while the Mullerian duct involutes, and remained high until birth. MIS gene expression decreased progressively after birth and, as germ cell meiosis increased, became barely detectable in the Sertoli cells of the seminiferous tubules. In female rats, MIS mRNA was first detected in the single layer of cuboidal granulosa cells surrounding larger primary follicles 3 days after birth, coincident with the initiation of follicular growth. As follicular growth progressed, MIS mRNA expression was high in preantral and small antral follicles, especially in those granulosa cells closest to the oocyte. MIS mRNA expression decreased gradually in larger antral follicles, remaining prominent only in the cumulus cells and the dividing population of granulosa cells closest to the lumen. MIS gene expression was absent in follicles with features of atresia and in the larger antral follicles. The expression of MIS mRNA in actively dividing Sertoli and granulosa cells correlates with the stages of germ cell division. These findings are suggestive of a role for MIS in the control of germ cell maturation.

Augmented growth hormone (GH) secretory burst frequency and amplitude mediate enhanced GH secretion during a two-day fast in normal men

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

Serum GH concentrations are increased in fasted or malnourished human subjects. We investigated the dynamic mechanisms underlying this phenomenon in nine normal men by analyzing serum GH concentrations measured in blood obtained at 5-min intervals over 24 h on a control (fed) day and on the second day of a fast with a multiple-parameter deconvolution method to simultaneously resolve endogenous GH secretory and clearance rates. Two days of fasting induced a 5-fold increase in the 24-h endogenous GH production rate [78 +/- 12 vs. 371 +/- 57 micrograms/Lv (Lv, liter of distribution volume) or 0.24 +/- 0.038 vs. 1.1 +/- 0.16 mg/m2 (assuming a distribution volume of 7.9% body weight), P = 0.0001]. This enhanced GH production rate was accounted for by 2-fold increases in the number of GH secretory bursts per 24 h (14 +/- 2.3 vs. 32 +/- 2.4, P = 0.0006) and the mass of GH secreted per burst (6.3 +/- 1.2 vs. 11 +/- 1.6 micrograms/Lv, P = 0.002). The latter was a result of increased secretory-event amplitudes (maximal rates of GH release attained within a burst) with unchanged secretory burst durations. GH was secreted in complex volleys composed of multiple discrete secretory bursts. These secretory volleys were separated by shorter intervals of secretory quiescence in the fasted than fed state (respectively, 88 +/- 4.2 vs. 143 +/- 14 min, P = 0.0001). Similarly, within volleys of GH release, constituent individual secretory bursts occurred more frequently during the fast [every 33 +/- 0.64 (fasted) vs. every 44 +/- 2.0 min (fed), P = 0.0001]. The t1/2 of endogenous GH was not significantly altered by fasting [18 +/- 2.2 (fasted) vs. 20 +/- 1.5 min (fed), P = 0.47]. Serum insulin-like growth factor I concentrations were unchanged after 56 h of fasting. In conclusion, the present data suggest that starvation-induced enhancement of GH secretion is mediated by an increased frequency of GHRH release, and longer and more pronounced periods of somatostatin withdrawal.

Isolation of the rat gene for Mullerian inhibiting substance

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:50pm

Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS), a testicular glycoprotein also known as anti-Mullerian hormone, plays a key role in male sexual development by causing regression of the Mullerian duct, the anlagen of the uterus, the Fallopian tubes, and part of the vagina. MIS is also expressed in the postnatal ovary, but its precise function is still not known. We report here the complete nucleotide sequence of the rat MIS gene. Rat MIS is encoded in five exons and is synthesized as a precursor of 553 amino acids, containing a 24-amino-acid leader. Based on homology with human MIS, we predict that the rat protein undergoes proteolytic processing at a site 108 amino acids from the C-terminus. Expression of the rat MIS mRNA is high in the 1-day-postnatal testis and decreases to a low level in the adult testis. In contrast, expression is not detected in the 1-day ovary, but increases to an intermediate level in the adult ovary. The rat gene should provide a good model for studying transcriptional regulation of MIS in the testis and ovary.