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Cytoplasm (Inferior)
Secondary Oocyte

Cytoplasm (Inferior)


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Quick Facts

The cytoplasm is the protoplasm of a cell exclusive of that of the nucleus; it consists of a continuous aqueous solution (cytosol) and the organelles and inclusions suspended in it and is the site of most of the chemical activities of the cell (Dorland, 2011).

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Related parts of the anatomy


The cytoplasm of the oocyte, or the ooplasm, is essentially a liquid matter that has a granular appearance. It is made up of a small amount of yolk granules, or deuteroplasm, as well as various cell organelles including Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, the nucleus, and cortical granules.

Key Features/Anatomical Relations

The cytoplasm of the oocyte is contained within the plasma membrane.


The cytoplasm indirectly plays a role in preventing more than one sperm from fertilizing one oocyte. It does this by releasing large amounts of stored calcium, which in turn initiates a cortical reaction. Cortical granules release their enzymatic contents, which modifies the zona pellucida, making it impossible for subsequent sperm to attach to the oocyte (Chiras, 2005; Standring, 2016).

The yolk granules have nutritional constituents contained within them, including lipids, proteins, and polysaccharides, which nourish the embryo in its early phases of its development (Alberta et al., 2008; Rybska et al., 2018).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Infertility

- Assisted reproductive technology


Alberta, B., Lewis, J., Roberta, K., Johnson, A., Raff, M. and Walter, P. (2008) Molecular Biology of the Cell. Garland Pub - USA.

Chiras, D. D. (2005) Human Biology. Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

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

Rybska, M., Knap, S., Jankowski, M., Jeseta, M., Bukowska, D., Antosik, P., Nowicki, M., Zabel, M., Kempisty, B. and Jaśkowski, J. (2018) 'Cytoplasmic and nuclear maturation of oocytes in mammals – Living in the shadow of cells developmental capability', Medical Journal of Cell Biology, 6.

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edition: Elsevier Limited.

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