Function: The ovary, or female gonad, is:
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|The surface of the ovary is covered withsurface epithelium, a simple epithelium which changes from squamous to cuboidal with age. Immediately beneath this surface epithelium there is a dense connective tissue sheath, the tunica albuginea ovarii.||In most species, the ovaries are composed of an outercortex and innermedulla (except in the mare where the cortical region is interior to the medulla). The cortex is composed of ovarian follicles (developing oocytes with their associated follicular cells), interstitial gland cells and stromal elements. Ovarian follicles are in different stages of development (least mature to most mature): primordial, primary, secondary, secondary-vesicular and mature.|
on the labels on the diagram to display histological sections.
No slide for Hilus.
|Thecortex usually also
contains the remains of degenerated follicles called atretic follicles (not
shown in this diagram) which may arise at any stage of follicular
Interstitial gland cells (not shown in this diagram) are also present in the cortex. Although the function of these cells is not known for sure, they are thought to secrete estrogen since they have the structure of steroid-secreting cells.
The atretic follicles and the interstitial gland cells, though not shown on this diagram, will be discussed later.
is composed of loose areolar connective tissue containing numerous elastic and
reticular fibers, large blood vessels, nerves and lymphatics.
Thehilus is the region through which blood vessels, lymphatics and nerves enter and leave the ovary. It is contiguous with and histologically similar to the medulla.
Histology home Female Reproduction index
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