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Comparative analysis of follicle morphology and oocyte diameter in four mammalian species (mouse, hamster, pig, and human)



Laboratory animals are commonly used for evaluating the physiological properties of the mammalian ovarian follicle and the enclosed oocyte. The use of different species to determine the morphological relationship between the follicle and oocyte has led to a recognizable pattern of follicular stages, but differences in follicle size, oocyte diameter and granulosa cell proliferation are not consistent across the different species. In an effort to better understand how these differences are expressed across multiple species, this investigation evaluates oocyte and follicle diameters and granulosa cell proliferation in the mouse, hamster, pig, and human.


Histological sections of ovaries from the mouse, hamster, pig, and human were used to calculate the diameter of the oocyte and follicle and the number of granulosa cells present at pre-determined stages of follicular development. A statistical analysis of these data was performed to determine the relationship of follicular growth and development within and between the species tested.


These data have revealed that the relationships of the features listed are tightly regulated within each species, but they vary between the species studied.


This information may be useful for comparative studies conducted in different animal models and the human.


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Correspondence to Douglas T Carrell.

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The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

JG performed the data collection and summarization. BRE aided in study design data collection, summarization and statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. IH contributed by performing statistical analysis. CMP and DTC conceived of the study and directed the research design. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Jeanine Griffin, Benjamin R Emery contributed equally to this work.

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Griffin, J., Emery, B.R., Huang, I. et al. Comparative analysis of follicle morphology and oocyte diameter in four mammalian species (mouse, hamster, pig, and human) . J Exp Clin Assist Reprod 3, 2 (2006).

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