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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether thyroid function was associated with pregnancy status in broodmares. Design—Prospective study.

Design–Prospective study.

Animals—79 Thoroughbred and Standardbred broodmares between 2 and 22 years old.

Procedure—Serum triiodothyronine (T3) concentration was measured before and 2 hours after IV administration of thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), and serum thyroxine (T4) concentration was measured before and 4 hours after TRH administration. Pregnancy status was monitored by means of transrectal ultrasonography beginning 16 days after ovulation.

Results—Baseline T3 and T4 concentrations varied widely. In all mares, serum T3 concentration increased in response to TRH administration. Serum T4 concentration increased in response to TRH administration in all but 2 mares. Pregnancy rate was 76%. Baseline and stimulated serum T3 and T4 concentrations were not significantly different between mares that became pregnant and those that did not.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that decreased thyroid function is uncommon in mares and poor thyroid function is not a common cause of infertility. Thus, the practice of indiscriminately treating broodmares with thyroid hormone to enhance fertility appears questionable at this time. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:892–894)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective

To examine glycoconjugates in the isthmic and ampullar regions of the uterine tube (oviduct) of horses during estrus, diestrus, and pregnancy.

Sample Population

Oviductal samples from 17 mares.

Procedure

Oviducts were collected during estrus (n = 3), diestrus (n = 3), or pregnancy (n = 3), embedded, and snap frozen in liquid nitrogen. Frozen sections (5 to 6 μm in thickness) were stained with 100 μg/ml of fluorescein-isothiocyanate-conjugated lectin (30 min at 38.5 C) and were evaluated by use of epifluorescence microscopy and video image analysis. Specificity of lectins was established by blocking with the corresponding carbohydrate. Dolichos biflorus agglutinin (DBA)-affinity studies on western blots of oviductal lavage fluid, oviductal explant conditioned media, and apical membrane proteins from isthmic and ampullar regions of oviducts were used to identify glycoproteins with galactosyl residues.

Results

Use of 4 lectins resulted in differential labeling of the luminal surface of the oviductal epithelium. Both DBA and soybean agglutinin labeled the apical epithelium of the isthmus, but not the ampullar oviduct. Soybean agglutinin resulted in more-intensely labeled epithelium in the isthmic region of oviducts during estrus and pregnancy than during diestrus. The DBA labeled a number of glycoproteins in conditioned media from both regions of the oviduct. These glycoproteins ranged from 14 to 200 kd, with major glycoproteins identified at 31 and 57 kd.

Conclusions

The predominant glycoconjugates in the oviduct of horses are galactosyl residues. There are regional differences in the distribution of these galactosyl glycoconjugates in the isthmic and ampullar oviduct. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:816–822)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Labor and delivery stimulate increased release of catecholamines and endogenous opioid peptides in neonates. Catecholamines promote adaptation to the extrauterine environment after birth. Enkephalins are stored together with catecholamines in the adrenal medulla and have an inhibitory effect on catecholamine release. We investigated the influence of labor and neonatal hypoxia on epinephrine, norepinephrine, and met-enkephalin release in calves. Blood samples were taken from the umbilical artery before rupture of the umbilical cord and from the jugular vein repeatedly after birth. Highest plasma norepinephrine concentration was found in calves delivered at the end of gestation (term calves) before umbilical cord rupture. In calves delivered before the physiologic end of gestation (preterm calves), norepinephrine values increased after cord rupture, but remained lower than values in term calves. Epinephrine release followed a similar pattern, but norepinephrine was clearly predominant. In term calves, met-enkephalin values were significantly higher than values in preterm calves. In calves of both groups, met-enkephalin release increased after cord rupture. During birth, the increase in catecholamine release seems to take place earlier than that of enkephalins. Norepinephrine-dominated stimulation during expulsion of the calf might be followed by increasing enkephalinergic inhibition after cord rupture and onset of respiration. Reduced release of catecholamines and enkephalins in preterm calves may be connected with delayed adaptation to the extrauterine environment.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research