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Human ovarian follicular development: from activation of resting follicles to preovulatory maturation.

Abstract : By integrating morphometrical and endocrinological data, as well as biological effects of various molecules synthesized by the human follicle, we propose a dynamic view of the follicle growth within the human ovary. Folliculogenesis starts with entry of resting follicles into the growth phase, a process where the kit system plays a key role. Several months are required for a new growing follicle to reach the preantral stage (0.15mm), then 70 additional days to reach the size of 2mm. Early growing follicle growth is regulated by subtle interactions between follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and local factors produced by theca and granulosa cells (GCs), as well as the oocyte. From the time they enter the selectable stage during the late luteal phase, follicles become sensitive to cyclic changes of FSH in terms of granulosa cell proliferation. During the early follicular phase, the early selected follicle grows very quickly and estradiol is present in the follicular fluid. However, the total steroid production remains moderate. From the mid-follicular phase, the preovulatory follicle synthesizes high quantities of estradiol, then after the mid-cycle gonadotropin surge, very large amounts of progesterone. At this stage of development, the responsiveness of the follicle to gonadotropins is maximum, especially to luteinizing hormone (LH) that triggers granulosa wall dissociation and cumulus expansion as well as oocyte nuclear maturation. Thus, as the follicle develops, its responsiveness to gonadotropins progressively increases under the control of local factors acting in an autocrine/paracrine fashion.
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Contributor : Alain Gougeon <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 4:22:18 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 2:12:48 AM
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Alain Gougeon. Human ovarian follicular development: from activation of resting follicles to preovulatory maturation.. Annales d'Endocrinologie, Elsevier Masson, 2010, 71 (3), pp.132-43. ⟨10.1016/j.ando.2010.02.021⟩. ⟨inserm-00504499⟩

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