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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 13 - Female Reproductive System

Plate 13.245 Ovary: Overview

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed


Plate 13.245 Ovary: Overview


Monkey, glutaraldehyde, 1.5 µm, plastic section, H. & E., 47.5 x.


In this low magnification micrograph of primate ovary, the differentiation of the organ into cortical and medullary regions is seen. The highly vascular medulla is overlaid by a cortex in which various stages of follicular maturation may be identified. For example, the primordial follicles are most numerous and lie peripheral to growing follicles. Mature follicles (not shown here), which eventually ovulate, will have overgrown the entire width of the cortex. Follicles that have initiated growth but that have regressed are indicated by arrows and are termed atretic follicles.

The outer connective tissue investment, the tunica albuginea, is covered with a thin epithelium of peritoneal origin, the so-called germinal epithelium, named for its earlier, erroneously conceived role of seeding the ovary with germ cells.

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