Comparative analysis of follicle morphology and oocyte diameter in four mammalian species (mouse, hamster, pig, and human)

  • Jeanine Griffin
  • Benjamin R Emery
  • Ivan Huang
  • C Matthew Peterson
  • Douglas T Carrell
Open Access



Laboratory animals are commonly used for evaluating the physiological properties of the mammalian ovarian follicle and the enclosed oocyte. The use of different species to determine the morphological relationship between the follicle and oocyte has led to a recognizable pattern of follicular stages, but differences in follicle size, oocyte diameter and granulosa cell proliferation are not consistent across the different species. In an effort to better understand how these differences are expressed across multiple species, this investigation evaluates oocyte and follicle diameters and granulosa cell proliferation in the mouse, hamster, pig, and human.


Histological sections of ovaries from the mouse, hamster, pig, and human were used to calculate the diameter of the oocyte and follicle and the number of granulosa cells present at pre-determined stages of follicular development. A statistical analysis of these data was performed to determine the relationship of follicular growth and development within and between the species tested.


These data have revealed that the relationships of the features listed are tightly regulated within each species, but they vary between the species studied.


This information may be useful for comparative studies conducted in different animal models and the human.





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Copyright information

© Griffin et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2006

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanine Griffin
    • 1
  • Benjamin R Emery
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ivan Huang
    • 3
  • C Matthew Peterson
    • 3
  • Douglas T Carrell
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Andrology and IVF Laboratories, Division of Urology, Department of SurgeryUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUtahUSA
  3. 3.Division of Reproductive Endocrinology, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUtahUSA

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