Oocytes in primordial and primary follicles of young adult guinea pig ovaries fixed in osmium tetroxide and embedded in Epon 812, have been observed by electron microscopy. The gradual differentiation of a series of cytoplasmic organelles has been correlated with the growth in size of the oocyte and the development of the follicular wall. The most immature primordial oocyte is morphologically a simple cell consisting of a large slightly eccentric nucleus, a few large spherical mitochondria, a profusion of granular cytoplasmic vesicles, and free RNP particles. At the primary follicle stage, abundant endoplasmic reticulum, clusters of mitochondria proliferating around a rosette formation, multiple Golgi complexes, vesicular aggregates forming cortical granules, and a profusion of microvilli have been differentiated. Concentrations of cytoplasmic organelles at the periphery of the oocyte in the primary follicle suggest that it is equipped for the absorption, utilization, and intracellular transport of material delivered to its surface membrane. The juxtaposition of components of the ultrastructure during the development and growth of this large cell appears to follow a precise pattern and provides an unusual opportunity to study the interrelationships of differentiating organelles.

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