High Cell Losses In Early Development?

Leonid Gavrilov lagavril at midway.uchicago.edu
Tue Jan 21 17:18:54 EST 2003


I would appreciate your feedback on the issue of high cell losses in
early development (this may be important for understanding aging).

Specifically, I wonder whether the following statement is correct:

 "The female human fetus at age 4-5 months possesses 6-7 million eggs
(oocytes). By birth, this number drops to 1-2 million and declines
even further.  At the start of puberty in normal girls, there are only
0.3-0.5 million eggs -- just only 4-8% of initial numbers."
Are there any other similar examples of early massive cell loss?

Or is this story specific to oocytes only?

Best wishes,

-- Leonid Gavrilov 
Author of the book "The Biology of Life Span"

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