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Mechanisms controlling germline cyst breakdown and primordial follicle formation

Wang, Chao, Zhou, Bo, Xia, Guoliang
Cellular and molecular life sciences 2017 v.74 no.14 pp. 2547-2566
cytoplasm, females, humans, meiosis, mice, mitosis, oocytes, oogonia, ovarian development, prophase, reproduction, sex determination
In fetal females, oogonia proliferate immediately after sex determination. The progress of mitosis in oogonia proceeds so rapidly that the incompletely divided cytoplasm of the sister cells forms cysts. The oogonia will then initiate meiosis and arrest at the diplotene stage of meiosis I, becoming oocytes. Within each germline cyst, oocytes with Balbiani bodies will survive after cyst breakdown (CBD). After CBD, each oocyte is enclosed by pre-granulosa cells to form a primordial follicle (PF). Notably, the PF pool formed perinatally will be the sole lifelong oocyte source of a female. Thus, elucidating the mechanisms of CBD and PF formation is not only meaningful for solving mysteries related to ovarian development but also contributes to the preservation of reproduction. However, the mechanisms that regulate these phenomena are largely unknown. This review summarizes the progress of cellular and molecular research on these processes in mice and humans.