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How the mole got its 12 fingers
Date:7/14/2011

chers can now show for the first time that it develops later than the real fingers from a transformed sesamoid bone in the wrist. In shrews, however, the mole's closest relative, the extra thumb is lacking, which confirms the re-searchers' discovery.

Male hormones linked to polydactyly

The researchers see a connection between the species-specific formation of the extra thumb in the mole and the peculiar "male" genital apparatus of female moles. In many mole species, the females have masculinized genitals and so-called "ovotestes", i.e. gonads with testicular and ovary tissue instead of normal ovaries. Androgenic steroids are known to influence bone growth, transformation and changes, as well as the transformation of tendons in joints. A high level of maternal testosterone is also thought to be one of the causes of polydactyly in humans.


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Contact: Marcelo Sanchez
m.sanchez@pim.uzh.ch
41-446-342-322
University of Zurich
Source:Eurekalert  

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