Ovary: Structure – Female Reproductive System

by Geoffrey Meyer, PhD

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    00:00 Moving on to the ovary, remember, it’s the organ in the female that produces the gamete, the ovum. It’s also the organ that produces hormones, steroidogenesis.

    00:16 And the main hormones produced will be estrogen and progesterone. Here is a section through an ovary. It’s a histological section taken through the ovary of an adult. And on the outside surface is a cortex. The surface component of the ovary is surrounding a medulla where, as you look here in this section, you can see lots of little profiles of tubes containing very bright red components. They are blood vessels, and they enter into the ovary through the hilum into the medulla, and those blood vessels will then form capillary beds which go out towards the cortex, towards the surface of the ovary. And if you look at the cortex, you can see little round structures, some tiny, some bigger, some have clear lumens.

    01:13 These represent follicles, ovarian follicles, at various stages of follicular development, which I’m going to describe in this lecture. Again, on the left-hand side is our image or our section of the ovary showing you the cortex and the medulla. For the remainder of this lecture, I’m going to concentrate only on the cortex, because that’s where all the follicular growth occurs throughout the ovarian cycle. On the right-hand side is a high magnification section taken of the epithelial surface of the ovary. And it’s named the germinal epithelium. It’s a mesothelium consisting of cuboidal cells, wrongly called germinal epithelium because earlier histologists thought this epithelium gave rise to the cells that form the follicles in the cortex. And underneath that germinal epithelium is a dense connective tissue layer, separating the epithelial surface from the underlying cortex where all the follicular genesis is going to occur. And that dense connective tissue layer or coating is called the tunica albuginea.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Ovary: Structure – Female Reproductive System by Geoffrey Meyer, PhD is from the course Reproductive Histology.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. The mesothelial layer covering the ovary is a "germinal layer" which gives rise to the female gametes.
    2. One function of the ovary is steroidogenesis.
    3. One function of the ovary is oogenesis.
    4. The ovary has a central medulla and an outer cortex.
    5. The dense connective tissue on the surface of the ovary is the tunica albuginea.
    1. Estrogen and progesterone
    2. Estrogen and testosterone
    3. Testosterone and progesterone
    4. Androstenedione and estrogen
    5. Androstenedione and testosterone
    1. It consists of cuboidal cells.
    2. It covers a small portion of the ovary.
    3. It gives rise to primary follicles.
    4. It is separated by the peritoneum from the germinal epithelium of Waldeyer.
    5. It is derived from the ectoderm during embryonic development.

    Author of lecture Ovary: Structure – Female Reproductive System

     Geoffrey Meyer, PhD

    Geoffrey Meyer, PhD

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    By Alan T. on 13. June 2018 for Ovary: Structure – Female Reproductive System

    Absolutely wonderful, the best histology teacher in the world. I love his classes