Most of our understanding on the origin, specification and development of the female germ line in placental mammals comes from studies in the laboratory mouse. The molecular pathway leading to the development and establishment of the female germ line in mouse has erected as the paradigm for placental mammals. It remains, however, largely unexplored whether the well-established mouse regulatory pathway is a common mechanism to other or all placental mammals. Discrete differences in mammals other than mouse reveal the existence of alternative mechanisms that challenge the currently accepted tenets on the origin and establishment of the mammalian female germinal reserve. Here, we will discuss the mouse framework in the light of emerging discrepancies seen in other placental mammals.
Part of the book: Germ Cell