DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph (LM) of Estradiol crystals. Estradiol is a naturally occurring by product of cholesterol metabolism (by way of testosterone) and is vital to the maintenance of fertility and secondary sex characteristics in females. It is the primary oestrogen in humans. Most estradiol in women is produced by the granulosa cells of the ovaries (by aromatization of testosterone from the theca cells). Smaller amounts of estradiol are also produced by the adrenal cortex. An additional source of estradiol in both sexes is peripheral aromatization of testosterone to estradiol. Primary functions include: breast development and maintenance, improving bone strength and density, development of the endometrial lining to a thickness necessary to support pregnancy and menstruation and serving as the primary feedback to the brain of sex hormone levels in both males and females. Magnification: x20 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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