alexa Revisiting old vaginal topics: conversion of the Müllerian vagina and origin of the "sinus" vagina.
Genetics & Molecular Biology

Genetics & Molecular Biology

Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy

Author(s): Cai Y

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Abstract Vaginal development has been a longstanding controversy, which hampers studies on vaginal diseases as well as cervical and uterine diseases. Most concerns center on: why is the vaginal epithelium different from the uterine epithelium; and where does the vagina originate from? It is commonly held that the rodent vagina has a dual origin: the cranial part is derived from the Mullerian duct (Mullerian vagina) and the caudal part derived from the urogenital sinus (sinus vagina). This concept was deduced from morphological observations. However, it cannot explain the difference between the Mullerian vagina and the uterus. Moreover, accumulating new data from genetic and molecular studies contradicts the urogenital sinus origin of the sinus vagina. The present review summarizes previous morphological observations and new findings from genetic and molecular studies, and addresses molecular mechanisms underlying the origin and organogenesis of the vagina in rodents. It provides evidence to show that the whole vagina is derived the Mullerian duct. BMP4 reshapes the intermediate mesoderm-derived Mullerian duct into the vaginal primordium. The latter thus exhibits different features from the uterus, including the stratified squamous epithelium and insensitivity to anti-Mullerian hormone. The sinus vagina is formed by extrinsic BMP4-mediated caudal extension of the Mullerian duct. The present review thus shows how a century of controversy over the origin and organogenesis of the vagina has been resolved. This new understanding will provide additional insight into genetic diseases and tumors of the female reproductive tract. This article was published in Int J Dev Biol and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy

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