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four main types of follicles

1. primordial
2. primary
3. secondary
4. antral/graafian

most common fate of a follicle


appearance of follicles:
1. primordial
2. primary
3. secondary
4. antral/graafian

1. single squamous cell layer → flattened; little cytoplasm
2. single cuboidal cell layer
3. 2 cuboidal cell layers
4. contain fluid; many layers of cuboidal cells

follicular fluid is derived from...?

blood plasma

characteristics of atretic follicles (4)

1. development of pycnotic nuclei → inside of the oocyte's nucleus gets "clumpy"
2. ↓ estradiol production
3. loss of gonadotropin receptors
4. changes in oocyte

changes in the oocyte of an atretic follicle (4)

1. size → oocyte shrinks
2. pseudocleavage → divisions that resemble divisions of an early embryo erroneously occur in the ovary
3. germinal vesicle breakdown → supposed to occur as part of the process of fertilization
4. degenerating zona pellucida

how long does it take for a follicle to develop?
1. sheep
2. cattle

1. 153 μM to 5000 μM in ~45 days
2. 130 μM to 8560 μM in 42.5 days

how to study development of small follicles (2)

1. radioactive labeling with thymidine
2. block cells in metaphase to establish mitotic index

factors affecting development of follicles

gonadotropins are not required for growth of prenatral follicles, but gonadotropins (especially FSH) will enhance their development

stages of follicular development (3)

1. Recruitment → signal goes to the ovary that says "I need X number of follicles to start the process of development"
2. Selection → as follicles develop, one gets a little bit ahead of the rest
3. Dominance → the dominant follicle causes the rest of the follicles in the group to become atretic & die off

waves of follicular development: cattle

in cattle, 2 or 3 dominant follicles can form during each estrous cycle → each dominant follicle that forms is described as belonging to a wave

hormonal requirements for recruitment, selection, & dominance (4)

1. both LH & FSH are needed for the recruitment & selection of follicles
2. one follicle becomes dominant → secretes increasing amounts of inhibin & estradiol resulting in ↓ FSH
3. decreasing FSH causes other follicles within the cohort to become atretic
4. demise of CL (& thus very low P4) allows ovulation

#1 determinant of whether a dominant follicle will become atretic or ovulate

levels of progesterone: low P4 = ovulation, high P4 = atresia

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