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Brazilian Journal of Biology

Print version ISSN 1519-6984On-line version ISSN 1678-4375


CODON, S. M.; ESTECONDO, S. G.; GALINDEZ, E. J.  and  CASANAVE, E. B.. Ultrastructure and morphometry of ovarian follicles in the armadillo Chaetophractus villosus (Mammalia, Dasypodidae). Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2001, vol.61, n.3, pp.485-496. ISSN 1519-6984.

Ultrastructural and morphometric changes in oocyte and surrounding granulosa cells during armadillo follicular growth are described. Primordial, intermediary, early and late primary, secondary, tertiary and preovulatory Graafian follicles were found. From primordial to Graafian follicle, granulosa cells increase in height, become multilayered while fluid-filled spaces arise among them in the tertiary follicle stage. As the follicle expands the oocyte is located eccentrically and grows in size. From primordial to secondary stage organelles develop in number and complexity and many vesicles start arising in the cytoplasm at the secondary stage. From tertiary follicle stage the number of mitochondria decreases. In follicular cells, secreting-related organelles expand, but mitochondrial number decreases according to the follicle expansion. Intercellular junctions between both cell types increase. The morphometrical study shows a biphasic pattern of oocyte and follicle growth. The morphological baseline here provided will be essential for further comprehension of the reproductive biology in armadillos.

Keywords : ovarian follicles; armadillo; Chaetophractus villosus; Dasypodidae; reproduction.

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