Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
In the ovary of the rat the ova arise by proliferations from the germinal epithelium, all cells of which are potential ova. This proliferation begins with the differentiation of the gonad, and may last as long as 369 days postpartum. The embryonic ovary is filled with ova which pass through the typical maturation phases. This continues until five days after parturition. These ova degenerate, none being found in the ovary of the twenty-day rat. After the fifth day postpartum, nuclear development in the ova changes until, by the twentieth day, no typical maturation phases are present. With the degeneration of the embryonic ova the ovary takes on the adult structure.The ovary of the adult female rat shows a modified type of meiosis in the germ cells, while that of the embryo shows the typical phases, indicating that this is the primitive type, with the modified form an acquired characteristic.Ova in a single rat may show both twenty-one and thirty-one chromosomes.Follicle cells are formed from the cells of the germinal epithelium and, like the sex cells, may have both forty-two and sixty-two chromosomes in a single follicle. The lutein cells also show both forty-two and sixty-two chromosomes in a single corpus luteum. The chromosomes of the lutein cells enlarge with the expansion of the cell to a size greatly in excess of the chromosomes of the somatic cells. The theca interna is derived from the tunica albuginea.
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