Follicles (Figure 1-10-1) are located in the cortical stroma and are composed of oocytes surrounded by follicular (granulosa) cells.
• Approximately 400,000 follicles are present in the newborn ovaries. Only a small percentage of the oocytes (approximately 450) reach maturity in the adult.
■ The remaining follicles eventually degenerate through a process called atresia* Atresia may occur at any stage of follicular development.
The primary oocyte surrounded by a single layer of flattened follicular cells.
The primary oocyte and one or more layers of cuboidal-like follicular cells.
The follicular cavity (antrum), cumulus oophorus, and corona radiata develop CT surrounding the follicle. The CT develops into the theca interna and externa.
The theca interna produces androgens, which are converted into estradiol by granulosa cells.
The zona pellucida forms around the oocyte; it is rich in polysaccharides (periodic acid-Schiff [PAS]-positive).
The graafian follicle is the mature follicle that extends through the entire cortex.
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