Histochemical changes in the membrana granulosa and theca interna of oestrous, pre-ovulatory and post-ovulatory follicles in the rabbit ovary have been investigated.
Membrana granulosa in oestrous follicles shows two types of lipid bodies (l1 and l2). The L1 bodies consist of phospholipids and triglycerides. Their number is gradually increased in the pre-ovulatory and post-ovulatory follicles. The l2 bodies consist of phospholipids. Their number is decreased in the pre-ovulatory and post-ovulatory follicles; simultaneously the l2 bodies also develop triglycerides. Diffuse lipoproteins develop throughout the cytoplasm of granulosa lutein cells.
Theca interna cells in oestrous follicles contain lipid droplets (consisting of cholesterol and/or its esters, triglycerides and phospholipids) and diffuse lipoproteins ; cholesterol or its esters are not seen during the pre-ovulatory period. In the post-ovulatory follicles, the theca interna cells are filled with lipid bodies consisting of triglycerides, cholesterol or its esters and some phospholipids.
The physiological significance of these histochemical changes has been discussed.
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