Follicles are ovarian structures that contain a single germ cell. During the mammalian reproductive lifetime, ovarian follicles mature through the process of follicular development, with the aim of selecting oocytes for ovulation. As part of this process, several follicles are eliminated by means of follicular atresia, a mechanism that mainly involves apoptosis. Nevertheless, it has been shown that there are other routes of programmed cell death in the ovary including autophagy, paraptosis, and necroptosis. Surprisingly, the endoplasmic reticulum is involved in these different programmed cell death pathways. Moreover, there are several evidences for the pathways triggered by intra- and extracellular signals in endoplasmic reticulum-induced cell death. Thus, it is important to analyze the participation of endoplasmic reticulum in follicular atresia.
Part of the book: Endoplasmic Reticulum