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Home > E. Pathology by systems > Reproductive system > Female genital system > Ovaries (Ovary) > oocyte


Thursday 22 April 2004


Definition: An oocyte (ovocyte) is a female gametocyte or germ cell involved in reproduction. In other words, it is an immature ovum, or egg cell. An oocyte is produced in the ovary during female gametogenesis.


- Oocyte with zona pellucida

The female germ cells produce a primordial germ cell (PGC) which undergoes mitosis to form an oogonium. During oogenesis the oogonium becomes a primary oocyte.

The formation of an oocyte is called oocytogenesis, which is a part of oogenesis. Oogenesis results in the formation of both primary oocytes before birth, and of secondary oocytes after it as part of ovulation.


- Ben-Yosef D, Shalgi R. Oocyte activation: lessons from human infertility. Trends Mol Med. 2001 Apr;7(4):163-9. PMID: 11286940