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Fertil Steril. 2007 Sep;88(3):675-83. Epub 2007 Apr 16.

Establishment of ovarian reserve: a quantitative morphometric study of the developing human ovary.

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  • 1Medical Genetics Unit, Dipartimento Materno Infantile, Facolt√† di Medicina e Chirurgia, Universit√† degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy. antonino.forabosco@unimo.it <antonino.forabosco@unimo.it>

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess directly the dynamics of the formation of the ovarian reserve in the normal human ovary by evaluating the total number of follicles in developing ovaries when folliculogenesis occurs.

DESIGN:

Histomorphometry-based follicle counts in complete serial tissue sections.

SETTING:

Functional Anatomy Research Center, University of Milano.

PATIENT(S):

Thirteen fetuses, neonates, and one 8-month-old infant.

INTERVENTION(S):

Fifteen ovaries were completely cut, obtaining serial sections. Ovarian volume, volume fractions, density and total number of follicles per ovary were calculated using quantitative morphometric methods.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Age-related dynamics of the establishment of ovarian reserve in human developing ovary at the end of the organogenesis.

RESULT(S):

The ovarian reserve (100,000 follicles at 15 weeks of postconceptional age) increased progressively to 680,000 follicles at 34 weeks. At 8 months of postnatal age the pool was still about 680,000 primordial follicles.

CONCLUSION(S):

The consistence of the primordial follicle pool during organogenesis shows an exponential increase until month 8 of prenatal life and it is subsequently maintained without modifications at least until month 8 of postnatal life.

Comment in

PMID:
17434504
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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