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The biochemistry of oogenesis

, : The biochemistry of oogenesis. Acta Biol Exptl [warsaw] 14: 59-67

The purpose of this investigation was to follow the growth cycle and chemical analysis in egg cells from the ovaries of hens. Cells weighing between a few mg. and anywhere over 10 grams were collected and placed in containers, in groups or singly, weighed, heated for a few min. in boiling water bath and desiccated in a vacuum at 40 C. N, cholesterol, fatty acids and their iodine number were then detd. for the dried material. Three periods of growth were observed. In the 1st period, the oocytes of less than 100 mg. in wt. contained 85-89% water and 50-58% protein per dry wt. Fatty acids constituted only about 1/3 of total amt. of proteins. The amt. of cholesterol was high (8-14% of total lipids). In the 2d period, in which the oocytes reached the size of about 1 g., there was considerable increase in dry wt. and fatty acids while the percentage content of proteins diminished. In the 3d period, during which the absolute increase in mass was greatest, the chem. content of the egg cell remained almost unchanged. Fats were the main cell constituents in this period. It was established by indirect methods that while in the 1st period carbohydrates and inorganic compounds constituted a little over 20% of dry wt., this figure was reduced to 5-10% in the 3d period. There were no considerable changes in the degree of unsaturation of fatty acids during the growth periods. The growth periods described here on the basis of chem. composition correspond in general to the periods established by other authors through histochemical methods.


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