the layer of the ovarian stroma lying immediately beneath the tunica albuginea, composed of connective tissue cells and fibers, among which are scattered primary and secondary (antral) follicles in various stages of development; the cortex varies in thickness according to the age of the individual, becoming thinner with advancing years; included in the follicles are the cumulus oophorus, membrana granulosa (and the granulosa cells inside it), corona radiata, zona pellucida, and primary oocyte; the zona pellucida, theca of follicle, antrum and liquor folliculi are also contained in the follicle; also in the cortex is the corpus luteum derived from the follicles. [ ]

Synonyms: cortex ovarii (zona parenchymatosa) cortex of ovary

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