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A complex intersex condition in a Holstein calf.

Authors
  • Payan-Carreira, R
  • Pires, M A
  • Quaresma, M
  • Chaves, R
  • Adega, F
  • Guedes Pinto, H
  • Colaço, B
  • Villar, V
Type
Published Article
Journal
Animal Reproduction Science
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jan 15, 2008
Volume
103
Issue
1-2
Pages
154–163
Identifiers
PMID: 17517482
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

A case of disrupted embryonic development of the genital tract in a newborn Holstein calf is described. The physical examination of the calf evidenced several abnormalities, like atresia ani, rudimentary external genitalia and caudal vertebral agenesis. On necropsy, the excised genitalia consisted of bilateral streak gonads, apparently normal uterine tubes, a fluid-filled uterus, a long vagina and a very narrow clitoris-like structure covered with a discrete skin-fold. The urinary tract seemed normal and the urethra's opening was at the vestibule-vaginal junction. A cytogenetic analysis was requested. Karyotype revealed the existence of Y chromosome material in the two X chromosomes. However, the search for the sex-determining region Y (SRY) showed that this was an apparently absent gene. The histological examination of the gonads revealed the existence of ovarian dysplasia. Uterine sections evidenced the absence of the uterine epithelium, with only sporadic caruncles. Under microscopic examination, the uterine tubes and vagina structure was normal. The external genitalia sections revealed the existence of a skin-fold covering an erectile structure surrounding the urethra, a structure more similar to a penis than to a clitoris. This is an unusual situation of gonadal dysplasia combined with genital tract anomalies in cattle, probably associated to a genetic defect.

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