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Ovary - nontumor


Reviewer: Mohiedean Ghofrani, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 6 November 2011, last major update November 2011
Copyright: (c) 2002-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● The ovary is composed of four main components, each with different embryologic origins, all of which eventually come together in the developed ovary: surface epithelium, stroma, germ cells, and sex cords
● The embryonic coelomic cavity is initially lined by primitive mesothelium (modified coelomic epithelium), which arises from the underlying mesoderm

At approximately 5 weeks gestation, the gonadal ridge develops as a coelomic thickening and mesenchymal growth high in the abdominal cavity near where the kidneys develop:
● Coelomic epithelium forms the ovarian surface epithelium
● Subcoelomic mesoderm forms the ovarian stroma
● Primordial germ cells migrate from the yolk sac endoderm to the developing ovary
● Invaginations of coelomic epithelium in the superficial ovarian cortex form the sex cords (pregranulosa cells)

● During weeks 12-20, the vascular network develops from the hilus towards the cortex and pregranulosa cells encircle germ cells to form primordial follicles, which in turn are encircled by stroma-derived theca cells
● The germ cells differentiate into oogonia, which differentiate into primary oocytes and arrest in this stage until puberty
● Each ovary descends into the pelvis along the gubernaculum (attached inferiorly to the inguinal region); the gubernaculum becomes part of the uterine wall at entry of the fallopian tube, and persists in adults as ovarian and round ligaments
● Invaginations of the coelomic epithelium at the site of the gonadal ridge also give rise to two types of genital ducts: the mesonephric (wolffian) ducts and the paramesonephric (müllerian) ducts
● The müllerian ducts eventually give rise to the fallopian tubes and fuse to form the uterus
● Wolffian (mesonephric) duct remnants may be seen in the vicinity of the müllerian system later in life
● Gonadal development is influenced by both male and female promoting signals (Mol Endocrinol 2008;22:1)


Fetal development

Negative stains

● Ovarian surface epithelium is negative for CA125, unlike other coelomic derivatives

Additional references

Wikipedia, Embryology.ch

End of Ovary - nontumor > Embryology

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