Gonads, Female: Stem and Progenitor Cells in Adults

The gonad, or reproductive organ, is the source of all germ cells that are essential in reproduction. The female gonad, the ovary consists of several types of cells. In humans, some of these cell types are organized into layered structures known as follicles, which are the reproductive units in the ovary. Three major cell types make up the follicle: the oocyte (egg cells) and the supporting granulosa and theca cells that support the development and maintenance of the oocyte. These follicles are embedded in a matrix of supporting cells and connective tissue. The supporting cells are known as stromal cells and they have both structural and functional roles in the maintenance of the ovary. During development in humans, reproductive organs begin to form around the ...

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