The ultrastructural localization of calcium in full-grown ovarian follicles of Xenopus laevis was demonstrated after fixation in the presence of fluoride ions and by means of energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis. In hormonally untreated follicles (prophase I-arrested oocytes), two calcium sites were detected: follicle cells and oocyte pigment granules. In follicle cells, calcium containing deposits were preferentially associated with macrovilli, which ended by gap junctions. In human chorionic gonadotropin treated follicles (meiotically reinitiated oocytes), deposits were only seen in follicle cells. This is the first report of the cytochemical detection of intracellular Ca2+ in follicle cells of amphibians. The possible involvements of these Ca2+ stores in mediating the hormonal control of meiotic maturation are discussed.
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