Henry Gray (18251861). Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918.
a single ovum, but sometimes two or more are present.1 By the enlargement and subsequent rupture of a follicle at the surface of the ovary, an ovum is liberated and conveyed by the uterine tube to the cavity of the uterus. Unless it be fertilized it undergoes no further development and is discharged from the uterus, but if fertilization take place it is retained within the uterus and is developed into a new being.
In appearance and structure the ovum (Fig. 3) differs little from an ordinary cell, but distinctive names have been applied to its several parts; thus, the cell substance is known as the yolk or oöplasm, the nucleus as the germinal vesicle, and the nucleolus as the germinal spot. The ovum is enclosed within a thick, transparent envelope, the zona striata or zona pellucida, adhering to the outer surface of which are several layers of cells, derived from those of the follicle and collectively constituting the corona radiata.
FIG. 3 Human ovum examined fresh in the liquor folliculi. (Waldeyer.) The zona pellucida is seen as a thick clear girdle surrounded by the cells of the corona radiata. The egg itself shows a central granular deutoplasmic area and a peripheral clear layer, and encloses the germinal vesicle, in which is seen the germinal spot. (See enlarged image)
Yolk.The yolk comprises (1) the cytoplasm of the ordinary animal cell with its spongioplasm and hyaloplasm; this is frequently termed the formative yolk; (2) the nutritive yolk or deutoplasm, which consists of numerous rounded granules of fatty and albuminoid substances imbedded in the cytoplasm. In the mammalian ovum the nutritive yolk is extremely small in amount, and is of service in nourishing
Note 1. See description of the ovary on a future page. [back]