Characteristic of factors influencing the proper course of folliculogenesis in mammals

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Folliculogenesis is the process of ovarian follicle formation,, taking presence during foetal period. During the follicular development, oogoniums undergo meiosis and oocytes are formed. In the ovaries of new born sows, primary and secondary follicles are present and, 90 days after birth, tertiary follicles appear. During development in the ovarian follicles growth of granulosa cells and differentiation of the thecal cells can be observed. A cavity filled with follicular fluid appears. Granulosa cells are divided into: mural cells and corona radiata, which together with the oocyte form the cumulus oophorus. Corona radiata cells, mural layers and oolemma contact each other by a network of gap junctions. Secreted from the pituitary gland, FSH and LH gonadotropin hormones act on receptors located in granular and follicular cells. In the postnatal life tertiary follicles and Graafian follicles are formed. When the follicle reaches a diameter of 1 mm, further growth depends on the secretion of gonadotropins. Mature ovarian follicles produce: progestins, androgens and oestrogens. The growth, differentiation and steroidogenic activity of ovarian follicles, in addition to FSH and LH, is also affected by prolactin, oxytocin, steroid and protein hormones, numerous proteins from the cytokine and interleukin family, metabolic hormones like insulin, glucocorticoids, leptin, thyroid hormones and growth hormones. Despite numerous studies, many processes related to folliculogenesis have not been discovered Learning the mechanisms regulating reproductive processes would allow to easily distinguish pathological processes and discover more and more genes and mechanisms of their expression in cells that build ovarian follicles.

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