Steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) is essential for ovarian development and function

Neil A. Hanley, Yayoi Ikeda, Xunrong Luo, Keith L. Parker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The orphan nuclear receptor steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) was identified originally as a key regulator of the tissue-specific expression of the cytochrome P450 steroid hydroxylases. Hints at considerably broader roles for SF-1 came from analyses of its expression pattern in mouse embryos. As anticipated, SF-1 was expressed in the adrenal glands and gonads from their early stages of development. Surprisingly, SF-1 also was expressed outside of the primary steroidogenic tissues in the anterior pituitary and hypothalamus. SF-1 knockout mice dramatically confirmed its multiple essential roles in vivo. These mice lacked adrenal glands and gonads, leading to adrenocortical insufficiency and male-to-female sex reversal of their internal and external genitalia. SF-1 knockout mice also had impaired pituitary expression of gonadotropins and agenesis of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH), confirming roles of SF-1 at all three levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary- gonadal axis. With some focus on the ovary, this review summarizes experiments that have defined essential roles of SF-1 in endocrine development, and highlights important areas for future studies. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 25 2000


  • Embryos
  • Ovarian
  • SF-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


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