Polycystic and Postmenopausal Ovaries with Negligible Mast Cells

  • Katharina Spanel-Borowski


In the cyclic ovary, mast cells are absent in the antral follicle wall, but dominant in the cortical tissue. The number of mast cells strongly decreases in polycystic ovaries induced by dehydroepiandrosterone treatment in mice and in the ovaries of women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Mast cells are missing in postmenopausal ovaries, although there is no significant change in leukocyte number compared with the cyclic ovary. A decrease in mast cells is associated with an increase in density of neuropeptidergic nerve fibers. Mast cells belong to the cellular arm of innate immunity and are able to inhibit immunoresponses. The decrease and absence of mast cells in the polycystic and postmenopausal ovary point to a specific role: The task of mast cells might be to control inflammatory reactions potentially induced by cytoplasmic shedding of interstitial gland cells in the cyclic ovary.


Mast Cell Nerve Fiber Polycystic Ovary Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Membrane Contact 
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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina Spanel-Borowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Anatomy University of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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