The granulosa follicle cell of the Graafian follicle of the rabbit ovary differentiates into a lutein cell involved in steroid synthesis. Cytological events which occur within the granulosa cell of the normally stimulated follicle prior to ovulation have been duplicated by the intrafollicular injection of exogenous gonadotrophin. The luteinization of the granulosa cells involves the accumulation of 250- to 300-A, electron-opaque, spherical granules, dispersed within the cytoplasmic matrix, which have been identified as glycogen with the PAS-staining procedure. Further development of the granulosa cell following ovulation involves an increase in cell size, a decrease in the number of RNP particles, and an accumulation of an abundant system of intracellular membranes (agranular endoplasmic reticulum). Glycogen granules first appear in the granulosa cells as the separate, monoparticulate form. After follicle rupture and the formation of agranular endoplasmic reticulum, glycogen particles are present in a rosette arrangement within membrane-bounded vacuoles. The rosette arrangement of glycogen particles is also found dispersed within the cytoplasmic matrix of the lutein cell during the later stages of the cell life-span. Injection of luteinizing hormone or human chorionic gonadotrophin into a mature follicle also produces a marked accumulation of monoparticulate glycogen in the majority of granulosa cells, within 30 min. Cytoplasmic extensions which contain the glycogen masses are noticeably free of RNP particles.

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