Origin of corpus luteum
New Latin, literally, yellowish body
First Known Use: 1788
Medical Definition of corpus luteum
plural corpora lutea \-ə\play
: a yellowish mass of progesterone-secreting endocrine tissue that consists of pale secretory cells derived from granulosa cells, that forms immediately after ovulation from the ruptured graafian follicle in the mammalian ovary, and that regresses rather quickly if the ovum is not fertilized but persists throughout the ensuing pregnancy if it is fertilized
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