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  • Author or Editor: Christine Aurich x
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Objective—To evaluate changes of glycoconjugate in uterine glands of endometrial tissues obtained from mares.

Animals—50 adult mares.

Procedure—Uterine biopsy samples were collected during the breeding season and analyzed histologically for signs of chronic endometrial degeneration. Stage of the estrous cycle was established, using clinical examination and determination of hormonal status. Uterine tissue samples were analyzed, using lectin histochemical and immunohistochemical techniques (estrogen and progesterone receptors). Connective tissues were stained to determine alterations of ground substance in periglandular fibrosis.

Results—Of 50 mares, 30 (60%) were classified as normal or having modest alterations, and 20 (40%) were classified as having moderate or severe endometrial degeneration. In normal equine endometrium, several lectins (Helix pomatia agglutinin, Lotus tetragonolobus agglutinin, Ricinus communis I agglutinin, Ulex europaeus agglutinin, and wheat germ agglutinin) bound to glycoconjugates of the luminal epithelium and openings of uterine glands. Lectin binding patterns of cystic dilated glands or fibrotic glands in endometrial samples were remarkably strong, whereas normal surrounding cells remained unstained. Lotus tetragonolobus lectin was not suitable for detecting endometrial alterations. Connective tissues stained with Alcian blue and results of Hale colloidal-iron binding revealed acidic ground substance in periglandular fibrosis. Estrogen and progesterone receptors were evenly distributed in healthy and affected endometrial samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Glycoconjugate patterns of uterine glands were altered in mares with chronic endometrial degeneration. Therefore, uterine secretions are likely to be altered. These changes are not induced by changes in content of estrogen and progesterone receptors in endometrial tissues. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:840–845)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine endometrial regeneration in postpartum mares by analysis of histologic features, apoptosis and cell proliferation markers, lectin binding, cytokines, and progesterone and estrogen receptors in endometrial biopsy specimens.

Animals—9 postpartum mares.

Procedures—Mares were examined on postpartum days 1, 9, and 16, and uterine biopsy specimens were obtained for histologic examination. Lectin binding was analyzed histochemically, and expressions of Ki-67 antigen (proliferation marker), lysozyme, and caspase 3 (apoptosis marker) were studied immunohistochemically. Gene expressions for cytokines (interleukin-1β, -6 and -8 and tumor necrosis factor-α), cyclooxygenase 2, prostaglandin-E-synthase, and estrogen and progesterone receptors were determined by use of quantitative real-time PCR assay.

Results—On day 1, neutrophils predominated but by day 9 had largely been replaced by lymphocytes and macrophages. High numbers of cells with staining for caspase 3 were found on day 1, but numbers decreased by day 9. In contrast, the number of cells with staining for Kiel 67 antigen increased between days 1 and 9. Lectin binding to the endometrium changed over time. Relative mRNA expressions for cytokines and prostaglandin-E-synthase did not differ among days. Expressions of progesterone and estrogen receptors were minimal on day 1 and increased by day 9.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Early postpartum endometrial cells underwent apoptosis, but during the second week, postpartum proliferation of cells predominated. Lectin binding reflected changes in endometrial glycocalyx patterns. Increased expression of estrogen receptors allowed the endometrium to respond to estrogen during foal heat, and in subsequent diestrus, the endometrium was able to respond to progesterone.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research