Objective - To determine endometrial regeneration in postpartum mares by analysis of phistologic 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 Results - On day 1, neutrophils predominated but by day 9 had largely been replaced by lymphocytes and macrophages.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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas