The central reproductive organ of the female is the ovary. In mammalian species, the females have two ovaries, which are located in the abdomen near the kidneys. The ovary has two lnajor functions. First of all, it produces the female gametes or oocytes, which can develop inside the ovary until they reach the developmental stage at which they can be fertilised by the male gametes. Second, the ovary produces steroid hormones, whicll are important for the development of female characteristics and behaviour. In the ovary the gametes are found in special structures, the so-called ovarian follicles. Normal developnlent of the ovary and the ovarian follicles is very iInportant for female fertility. This cl,apter starts with a description of gonad formation in the mammalian female, on basis of observations on the development in female nlice, and focuses on the most iInportant factors involved in gonad formation. Fl1l1hernlore, the process of ovarian follicle development is described, again on basis of data generated mainly from studies in the mouse, and also rat. Ovarian follicle developnlent is under tight control by luan) hormones and growth factors, and therefore the action of only the most important regulatory factors will be mentioned. This thesis focuses on the role of anti-Mullerian hormone (AM H), one of the ovarian growth factors, in ovarian follicle development.

anti-Müllerian hormone, follicle, gynaecology, ovarian follicle
J.A. Grootegoed (Anton)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Durlinger, A.L.L. (2000, November 22). Ovarian follicle growth and development: role of anti-Müllerian hormone. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from