Dynamics of Follicle Development in the Human Ovary

  • Alain Gougeon
Part of the Serono Symposia USA book series (SERONOSYMP)


In the adult ovary, folliculogenesis starts when follicles leave the pool of resting follicles to enter the growth phase. From there, the early growing follicle will undergo a developmental process including a dramatic course of cellular proliferation and differentiation. In primates, only one follicle commonly reaches the preovulatory stage every cycle. The mechanisms that control in vivo ovarian folliculogenesis in primates remain poorly understood. In an attempt to build a dynamic model of folliculogenesis, morphodynamic changes characterizing each stage of follicular development have been analyzed and integrated in the light of the well-known cyclic endocrine alterations and of the functional status of follicles at various stages of their growth. This chapter describes the development of the cohort from which the follicle destined to ovulate will be selected. From the time when a follicle enters the preantral stage until it achieves its preovulatory maturation, its theca interna cells (TIC) and granulosa cells (GC) become progressively responsive to gonadotropins and undergo cytodifferentiation. This process may be regulated by control mechanisms that operate in vivo in a paracrine/autocrine fashion.


Granulosa Cell Follicular Fluid Aromatase Activity Follicle Development Human Ovary 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1996

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  • Alain Gougeon

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