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Female Reproductive Histology

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Brock University
Jenny Janke

Histology—Female Reproductive System I. Ovaries a. Function—storage & maturation of ova; secretion of female sex hormones (estrogen & progesterone) b. Structure i. peritoneal lining forms low cuboidal epithelium ii. Medulla 1. contains lg blood vessels, nerves & lymphatics in a stomal 2. vessels enter at hillus; coiled to permit adaptation to rapid growth iii. Cortex 1. tunica albuginea—surrounds cortex 2. Primordial Follicle—consists of lg round oocyte surrounded by a single layer of follicular cells 3. Primary Follicle—formation stimulated by FSH; oocyte enlarges; follicle cells become cuboidal & stratified a. granulosar layer—adjacent to oocyte b. theca interna—stoma cells organized around follicle c. theca externa—less organized stomal layer d. zona pellucida—PAS positive glycoprotein layer surrounding oocyte 4. Secondary Follicle (antral) a. 6-12 layers of granulose b. antrum forms—clear fluid filled lakes in granulose c. produces lots of estrogen (via 2 cell hypothesis) d. oocyte is eccentric & surrounded by cumulus oophorus (cloud) of follicular cells e. theca interna secretes androgens; theca externa provides support 5. Graafian (mature) Follicle a. Liquor folliculi accumulates => frees oocyte from all but one layer of loosely adherent cells (corona radiate) b. burst of LH => ovulation (follicle ruptures & releases ovum & corona radiate into beating/ sweeping fimbria) 6. Atretic Follicles a. ~20 follicles begin to develop each cycle; one becomes dominant, the others degenerate => atretic follicles 7. Corpus Luteum—remains of follicle after oocyte expulsion; secretes hormones; degenerates into corpus albicans if fertilization doesn’t take place a. granulosa lutein cells—derived from granulose cells b. Theca lutein cells—derived from theca interna c. produces progesterone & estrogens for 14 days d. if pregnancy occurs, corpus luteum continues to secrete hormones for ~ 4mo 1 8. Stroma—closely packed spindle-shaped
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