Document Detail

Theca: the forgotten cell of the ovarian follicle.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20628033     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Theca cells function in a diverse range of necessary roles during folliculogenesis; to synthesize androgens, provide crosstalk with granulosa cells and oocytes during development, and provide structural support of the growing follicle as it progresses through the developmental stages to produce a mature and fertilizable oocyte. Thecal cells are thought to be recruited from surrounding stromal tissue by factors secreted from an activated primary follicle. The precise origin and identity of these recruiting factors are currently not clear, but it appears that thecal recruitment and/or differentiation involves not just one signal, but a complex and tightly controlled combination of multiple factors. It is clear that thecal cells are fundamental for follicular growth, providing all the androgens required by the developing follicle(s) for conversion into estrogens by the granulosa cells. Their function is enabled through the establishment of a vascular system providing communication with the pituitary axis throughout the reproductive cycle, and delivering essential nutrients to these highly active cells. During development, the majority of follicles undergo atresia, and the theca cells are often the final follicular cell type to die. For those follicles that do ovulate, the theca cells then undergo hormone-dependent differentiation into luteinized thecal cells of the corpus luteum. While the theca is an essential component of follicle development and ovulation, we do not yet fully understand the control of recruitment and function of theca cells, an important consideration since their function appears to be altered in certain causes of infertility.
J M Young; A S McNeilly
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2010-07-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Reproduction (Cambridge, England)     Volume:  140     ISSN:  1741-7899     ISO Abbreviation:  Reproduction     Publication Date:  2010 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-09-30     Completed Date:  2011-01-25     Revised Date:  2014-02-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100966036     Medline TA:  Reproduction     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  489-504     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Androgens / physiology
Cell Differentiation / physiology*
Corpus Luteum / physiology*
Estrogens / physiology
Granulosa Cells / cytology,  physiology*
Ovarian Follicle / cytology,  physiology*
Theca Cells / cytology,  physiology*
Grant Support
G7.002.0007.01//Medical Research Council; MC_U127685843//Medical Research Council
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Androgens; 0/Estrogens

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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