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Int J Biol Sci. 2019 Jan 29;15(4):726-737. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.30369. eCollection 2019.

Autophagy in Ovarian Follicular Development and Atresia.

Zhou J1,2, Peng X1,2, Mei S1,2.

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Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan 430064, China.
Hubei Key Lab for Animal Embryo Engineering and Molecular Breeding, Wuhan 430064, China.


Autophagy is a mechanism that exists in all eukaryotes under a variety of physiological and pathological conditions. In the mammalian ovaries, less than 1% of follicles ovulate, whereas the remaining 99% undergo follicular atresia. Autophagy and apoptosis have been previously found to be involved in the regulation of both primordial follicular development as well as atresia. The relationship between autophagy, follicular development, and atresia have been summarized in this review with the aim to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the role played by autophagy in follicular development and atresia.


atresia; autophagy; follicular development; granulosa cells

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Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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