Formation of the follicular envelopes surrounding oocytes in the developing ovary and their subsequent morphological differentiation go hand-in-hand with succession of the steroidogenesis stages, arrest of meiosis and its maintenance, establishment of the conditions necessary for vitellogenesis, oocyte growth, and maturation. Metabolites are exchanged via gap junctions and receptor-mediated transport through the perioocytic space. The ion transport in follicular cells (FCs) regulates the plasma membrane potential, creating the conditions for efficient directed transport through gap junctions. Manifold biologically active substances accepted by follicular cells are an additional adjusting lever for regulating the state of follicle system. In this review, we have attempted to emphasize the amphibian FCs as key players in the follicle system; the more so as we have failed to find any review that would bring together the data on the origin of amphibian FCs, their morphology, as well as regulation of oocyte growth and development. As a rule, recent works in this field focus on the molecular mechanisms providing for regulation of individual stages in oocyte development. This review describes the origin and changes in the morphology of follicular cells during the development of Xenopus laevis oocyte as well as the data on their regulatory functions in vitellogenesis and their involvement in steroidogenesis, maintenance of meiotic arrest, and subsequent maturation.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 15, 2013
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