XO/XY and XO/XY/XYY mosaic hermaphrodites were generated from crosses involving BALB/cWt males. The distribution of Y-bearing cells in the gonads of these mice was studied by in situ hybridisation using the Y-specific probe pY353B. XY cells were found to contribute to all cell lineages of the ovary including follicle cells. The proportion of XY follicle cells was not significantly different from the XY contribution to other gonadal or non-gonadal cell lineages. However, this proportion was consistently low, all the hermaphrodites having a low XY contribution to the animal as a whole. Because the XO- and Y-bearing cell lineages are developmentally balanced, the XY follicle cells cannot have formed as a result of a ‘mismatch’ in which the Y-directed testis determination process is pre-empted by an early acting programme of ovarian development. These results are discussed with respect to the hypothesis that Tdy acts in the supporting cell lineage, the lineage from which Sertoli cells and follicle cells are believed to be derived.

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