New Concepts on the Development of the Vagina

  • Ellen Shapiro
  • Hongying Huang
  • Xue-Ru Wu
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 545)


The female reproductive tract develops from the mullerian ducts. Mullerian duct development will not proceed in the absence of the mesonephric duct (Freedman and Shapiro, 1997; Gruenwald, 1943). The mullerian ducts adhere to each other just before they project into the dorsal wall of the urogenital sinus (UGS) causing an elevation termed the sinus tubercle. When the fused tips contact the sinus tubercle, the ducts fuse cranially, forming a tube with a single lumen called the uterovaginal primordium or canal (O’Rahilly, 1977). This tube will ultimately become the superior aspect of the vagina and uterus (Larsen, 1993). The cranial portion of the mullerian ducts which are unfused, develop into the fallopian tubes (George and Wilson, 1988). The original coelomic epithelial ostium remains as the abdominal opening of the fallopian tube. A septum initially divides the uterus into two cavities. This septum between the fused ducts disappears after 9 weeks, forming a single uterine cavity. The mesonephric ducts regress one week later, leaving a remnant in the female which is termed Gartner’s duct (Arey, 1974). Muscularization of the uterus is completed by 17 weeks gestation and forms from the mesenchyme surrounding the mullerian ducts.


Androgen Receptor Acid Phosphatase Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia External Genitalia Androgen Receptor Expression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Shapiro
    • 1
  • Hongying Huang
  • Xue-Ru Wu
  1. 1.Department of UrologyNew York

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