Serologic detection of a y-linked gene in xx males and xx true hermaphrodites

The New England Journal of Medicine
S S WachtelO J Miller


To test the hypothesis that H-Y antigen (present on both somatic and germ cells in normal males but not normal females) is essential for testicular differentiation, we studied four XX males and three XX true hermaphrodites. Blood cells from six subjects and cultured gonadal fibroblasts from a seventh expressed H-Y antigen. Since expression of this antigen requires the presence of a gene normally carried by the Y chromosome, this gene, and perhaps additional Y chromosomal material, should have been present in the genome of these subjects. In one patient this presence is accounted for by a Y-to-X translocation, detectable by chromosome banding. In another a normal Y chromosome was present in a minor population of cells. In the remaining five, no karyotypic abnormality was detectable. Immunologic detection of H-Y antigen is a sensitive test for the presence of the Y chromosome or of its male-determining segment.


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