Mare Reproduction: Anatomy, Hormones, Estrous...

Functions Produce the female gamete Deliver ova to site of fertilization Environment for embryo development Delivery of fetus Organs of Reproduction Ovaries (2) Oviducts (2) [fallopian tubes] Uterus Cervix Vagina Vulva

In the normal mare... The ovary releases an ovum (1 egg) into the oviduct (fallopian tube) Fertilization occurs within the oviduct The zygote migrates into the uterus The embryo develops into a fetus Passes through the vagina as a neonate (newborn foal) Ovary Primary organ of reproduction Produce hormones Produce ovum Covered with peritoneum Suspended from the body wall by the mesovarium Bean-shaped in the mare

Ovulation fossa

Tunica albuginea (peritoneum) Cortex Connective tissue Follicles Interstitial cells Medulla Central Vascular Oviducts (uterine tubes) Paired convoluted tubules Usual site of fertilization Has a funnel-shaped "infundibulum" at the ovary to direct the ovum into the uterine tube Lining Mucous membrane Simple columnar ciliated epithelium Mesosalpinx

Uterus of the Mare Body Cervix Horns (2)

Mesometrium Broad Ligament

Comparative Anatomy

Uterus Endometrium Highly glandular tissue that lines the uterus Hormone responsive Uterine glands Simple branched tubular glands that are active during estrus and pregnancy Myometrium Tunica muscularis 2 layers of smooth muscle

Cervix Heavy smooth muscle sphincter Tightly closed except during estrus and parturition Vagina Birth canal Stratified squamous epithelium Definitions Oogenesis: formation of ova Estrus (heat): period of sexual receptivity Estrous cycle: interval from the beginning of one heat to the beginning of the next Oogenesis In the female fetus the primordial germ cells migrate from the yolk sac to the developing ovaries A single layer of follicular cells surrounds each primordial germ cell The germ cell is called the "oogonium" Starts meiosis Meiosis and the Primary Follicle 2 cell divisions where the chromosome number is halved The oogonium stops meiosis at the first prophase = "primary oocyte" Thousands of these primary follicles are present at birth Each primary oocyte results in one mature ovum and 3 rudimentary cells (polar bodies)

The Secondary Follicle In the sexually mature mare: Multiple primary follicles begin further development during a single estrous cycle

Mares are monotocous animals Do not bear litters - usually have only one offspring Development of the primary follicles = enlargement of the oocyte and replication of the surrounding follicular cells Granulosa cells secrete glycoproteins that cross link to form the protective "zone pellucida" around the oocyte A further protective layer, the "theca" surrounds all the layers of cells Hormonal stimulation by: FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) LH (Luteinizing hormone) Hormones GnRH Released from the hypothalamus Promotes release from the adenohypophysis: FSH LH Is regulated by: Steroid hormones "estradiol" and "progesterone" Peptide hormone "inhibin" Is released in a pulsatile way The granulosa and theca cells of the secondary follicle have receptors for FSH and LH LH causes theca cells to multiply and produce androgens FSH promotes granulosa cells to proliferate and produce enzymes to convert androgens to estrogens To produce the tertiary follicle (Graafian)

Effects of Estrogens Follicular development Increases FSH and LH receptors in the ovary Positive feedback Negative feedback k on the release of FSH from the adenohypophysis Causes slowly developing follicles to regress Prepare the follicles and the hormonal axis for ovulation by increasing LH production in the thecal cells Ovulation The follicle matures The primary oocyte undergoes the first meiotic division to produce the secondary oocyte (the first polar body) In the mare this happens just after ovulation LH surge Release from the adenohypophysis is increased during the 24 hours before ovulation until a peak occurs Promote final development of the primary oocyte in preparation for ovulation

for ovulation Granulosa cells respond by transforming from estrogenproducing to progesterone-producing cells (called luteinization) Granulosa cells also synthesize: Prostaglandins Thromboxanes Leukotrienes Local response weakens the wall of the follicle and promotes its rupture Luteinization Transformation of granulosa cells (estrogen) to luteal cells (progesterone) to form the corpus luteum A temporary endocrine organ that secretes the hormone progesterone Forms at the site of each ovulation During ovulation the cavity of ruptured follicle can fill with a blood clot = corpus hemorrhagicum Does not effect the formation of the corpus luteum and production of progesterone Corpus Luteum Blood progesterone levels increase as the corpus luteum grows until full maturation If there is no fertilization, the corpus luteum regresses and there is a decrease in plasma progesterone levels Progesterone Prepares for pregnancy Increases uterine gland secretion Inhibits uterine motility (promotes implantation) Promotes mammary gland development Inhibits further LH activity Regression of the Corpus Luteum Luteolysis Signal is prostaglandin F2α From the non-pregnant uterus Can be induced by administering synthetic analogs Corpus luteum must be intact "Estrumate" "Lutalyse" Induce ovulation in 3-5 days In Summary...

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