Alfred Jost, Ph.D (1916-1991) and Sexual Ambiguity
Submitted by Alan D. Rogol, MD, Ph.D
Alfred Jost was a French fetal endocrinologist who examined mammals (rabbits) rather than the usual avian models for sexual development. Major findings were that castration of the male fetus before sexual differentiation led to female phenotype with persistent Müllerian structures and no Wolffian ducts (Arch Anat Microsc Morph Exp 1947; 36:271). He showed that testosterone is the stimulus for Wolffian duct development without effect on the Müellerian ducts and that the testis produces a factor that inhibits Müllerian structures, now named Anti-Müllerian hormone (Rec Prog Horm Res 1953; 8:379).
At a meeting with our namesake, Lawson Wilkins convinced Dr. Jost that his work could explain many of the congenital anomalies of sex development in the human.