Medical Definition of Gonad, indifferent

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Gonad, indifferent: A gonad in an embryo that has not differentiated into a definitive testis or ovary. An indifferent gonad becomes a testis if the embryo has a Y chromosome, but if the embryo has no Y chromosome, the indifferent gonad becomes an ovary. The absence of a Y chromosome permits the indifferent gonad to become an ovary, but both X chromosomes are needed for the ovary to function normally.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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