Graafian follicle

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Graafian follicle

a fluid-filled vesicle in the mammalian ovary containing a developing egg cell
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Graafian Follicle


(named after R. de Graaf), a mul-tilayered saclike follicle that develops in the cortical layer of the ovary of mammals, including humans, under the influence of the follicle-stimulating hormone. The wall of the Graafian follicle consists of an external layer of connective tissue, under which is the multilayered follicular epithelium lining the Graafian follicle cavity, which is filled with a serous liquid. The epithelium forms a process into the Graafian follicle cavity (cumulus oophorus), in which the ovum is located, and provides it with nutrients. The developing follicle produces the hormone estrogen, which prepares the sexual ducts to receive the egg after ovulation, that is, its release from the Graafian follicle and the ovary. The ovulated egg enters the oviduct, where it can join with a spermatozoon and be fertilized. In animals that bear many young at once, several Graafian follicles grow and mature simultaneously.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Graafian follicle

[′gräf·ē·ən ′fäl·ə·kəl]
The mature mammalian ovum with its surrounding epithelial cells.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.