North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota
The microvasculature of the ovary is relatively unique in several respects, which we will explore in this chapter. However, beyond its uniqueness, which makes studying it interesting and informative in and of itself, the ovarian microvasculature is important for practical reasons as well. Among these reasons is the fact that the ovary not only is critical to normal reproductive function but also is the site of several major pathologies, including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, and ovarian carcinoma. In addition, ovarian follicles and corpora lutea are some of the most rapidly growing and most vascular tissues known, and therefore they can serve as outstanding models for understanding the regulation of normal microvascular growth, development, and function. This is extremely important because as Hudlicka pointed out, "There are numerous accounts of capillary growth in developing organisms or under pathological conditions, but very little is known about capillary growth in normal adult tissues" . Our discussion will be confined to the ovary of mammals; however, many similarities exist between ovarian structures across all vertebrates, although there are some striking differences as well (for an in-depth discussion of this topic, see The Vertebrate Ovary, which is listed under Further Reading).
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.