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Germinal epithelium (female)

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Title: Germinal epithelium (female)  
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Subject: Ovary, Pubocervical ligament, Corpus hemorrhagicum, Membrana granulosa, Tunica albuginea (ovaries)
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Germinal epithelium (female)

Germinal epithelium (female)
Diagram in French. "Épithélium ovarien" labeled at upper right.
Section of the ovary. 1. Germinal epithelium. 2. Central stroma. 3. Peripheral stroma. 4. Bloodvessels. 5. Vesicular follicles in their earliest stage. 6, 7, 8. More advanced follicles. 9. An almost mature follicle. 9'. Follicle from which the ovum has escaped. 10. Corpus luteum.
Anatomical terminology

The ovarian surface epithelium, also called the germinal epithelium of Waldeyer,[1] is a layer of simple squamous-to-cuboidal epithelial cells covering the ovary.[2]

The germinal epithelium is a misnomer and does not give rise to primary follicles.


These cells are derived from the mesoderm during embryonic development and are closely related to the mesothelium of the peritoneum. The germinal epithelium gives the ovary a dull gray color as compared with the shining smoothness of the peritoneum; and the transition between the mesothelium of the peritoneum and the columnar cells which cover the ovary is usually marked by a line around the anterior border of the ovary.


Ovarian surface epithelium can give rise to surface epithelial-stromal tumor.


  1. ^ Nishida T, Nishida N (2006). "Reinstatement of "germinal epithelium" of the ovary". Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 4: 42.  
  2. ^ Auersperg, N.; Wong, A. S.; Choi, K. C.; Kang, S. K.; Leung, P. C. (2001). "Ovarian Surface Epithelium: Biology, Endocrinology, and Pathology". Endocrine Reviews 22 (2): 255–288.  

External links

  • Histology image: 18403loa - Histology Learning System at Boston University
  • Histology image: 83_07 at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

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