Cellular proliferation in the lymphoid tissues of an inbred (RT1a) rat strain during the oestrous cycle

O. Habbal, G. Leeming, J. M. McLean

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Changes in body weight, uterine weight and tissue weight, cell content and cellular proliferation of the thymus and uterine regional and popliteal lymph nodes were examined at daily intervals during the oestrous cycle of the DA (RT1a) inbred rat strain. Thirty-nine sexually mature virgin animals, aged between 13 and 15 weeks were used in this investigation. During dioestrus body weight and uterine weight fell significantly, while intrathymic and intranodal cellular proliferation increased significantly. These findings are discussed in relation to ovarian hormone secretion and it is suggested that increased thymocyte and lymphocyte proliferation occurs in response to rising oestrogen levels. This proliferative response prepares the female for the immunological challenge with allogenic spermatozoa should mating occur during the subsequent oestrous phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-160
Number of pages5
JournalActa Anatomica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy

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