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Theca Lutein Cell

Theca Lutein Cell


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Quick Facts

Theca lutein cells are lutein cells derived from the theca interna (Dorland, 2011).

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Structure and/or Key Feature(s)

Theca lutein cells do not divide after ovulation. They are smaller than granulosa lutein cells (about 15 micrometers in diameter) and make up the remaining 20% of the parenchyma of the corpus luteum.

Like granulosa lutein cells, theca lutein cells differentiate into steroid secreting cells, and so, they contain numerous lipid droplets, large amounts of smooth (agranular) endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria with tubular cristae (Mescher, 2013; Ross & Pawlina, 2016).


Theca lutein cells secrete androgens and progesterone.


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

Mescher, A. (2013) Junqueira's Basic Histology: Text and Atlas. 13th edn.: McGraw-Hill Education.

Ross, M. H. and Pawlina, W. (2006) Histology: A text and atlas. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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