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A Stereological Study of Mouse Ovary Tissues for 3D Bioprinting Application



The use of 3D-bioprinted ovaries has been proven to be a promising technique for preserving fertility. Stereology is an accurate method to obtain quantitative 3D information and the stereological data is the basis for 3D bioprinting ovaries.


In this study, six female mice were used to acquire the ovarian tissues. One of the two paraffin-embedded ovaries of each mouse was cut into 5 µm sections, and the other was cut into 15 µm sections and then subjected to haematoxylin and eosin staining and anti-follicle stimulating hormone receptor antibody immunohistochemistry. The volume and volume fractions of ovaries were measured by the Cavalieri method. Then, the numerical densities and total numbers of ovarian granulosa cells (OGCs) and primordial, preantral and antral follicles in serial sections were estimated using design-based stereology.


The ovarian volume was 2.50 ± 0.32 mm3. The volume fractions of the cortex, medulla, follicles and OGCs were 86.80% ± 2.82, 13.20% ± 2.82%, 5.60% ± 0.25% and 81.19% ± 2.57%, respectively. The numerical densities of OGCs, the primordial, preantral and antral follicles were 2.11 (± 0.28) × 106/mm3, 719.57 ± 18.04/mm3, 71.84 ± 3.93/mm3 and 17.29 ± 3.54/mm3, respectively. The total number of OGCs and follicles per paraffin-embedded ovary were 5.26 (± 0.09) × 106 and 2013.66 ± 8.16.


The study had obtained the stereological data of the mice ovaries, which contribute to a deeper understanding of the structure of the ovaries. Meanwhile, the data will supply information for 3D bioprinting ovaries.

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Author contributions

XHH, ZWY and JHZ had designed the research. JHZ drafted the manuscript. JHZ, JKZ, YPT and YBS collected all the data. JHZ, JKZ and YPT analyzed the data and made all the figures in this manuscript. XHH had guided the writing. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


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Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study was approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of the Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University.

Consent to Participate

All animal-handling procedures were carried out according to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health (NIH publication no. 85-23, revised 1996).

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Correspondence to Xiang-Hua Huang.

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Zheng, JH., Zhang, JK., Tian, YP. et al. A Stereological Study of Mouse Ovary Tissues for 3D Bioprinting Application. Cel. Mol. Bioeng. 14, 259–265 (2021).

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  • 3D bioprinting
  • Ovary
  • Stereology