Fetal ovary, light micrograph

Fetal ovary, light micrograph


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Light microscopy of the fetal primate ovary about 20 weeks of gestation. The ovary is densely populated with oocytes (female germ cells) enclosed with a layer of follicle cells which together are known as follicles. The earliest follicles are called primordial follicles. In most species the fetal ovary is massively oversupplied with oocytes/follicles; in humans there may be up to 5 million per ovary. For reasons that remain unknown the majority (approximately 85%) of follicles die with a few hundred thousand surviving in each ovary at birth. Magnification x180 when narrow width printed at 10 cm.

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