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Reproduction. 2004 Jan;127(1):57-66.

Alteration in uterine contractility in mares with experimentally induced placentitis.

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  • 1Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610, USA.


An experimental model of ascending placentitis was developed in the mare to characterize the uterine myoelectrical pattern in late gestation and determine how ascending placentitis altered this pattern. In experiment 1, myometrial electrical activity was analyzed during the early morning, late morning and evening hours in four mares in the last 15 days of gestation to identify patterns of activity. In experiment 2, nine mares received intra-cervical inoculations of Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus. Myoelectrical activity in the early morning and evening hours in these mares was compared with four control mares. In experiment 1, the number of spike burst clusters >30 s was greater in the evening than in the late morning hours (P < 0.04). Spike burst activity (number x duration) of mares in experiment 1 was similar during day and night recordings until the last 6 days of gestation when it gradually increased each evening until parturition (P < 0.05). In experiment 2, control mares experienced a gradual increase in the number of small spike burst clusters in the last 6 days (P = 0.008) and an increase in large and small spike burst clusters in the evening hours in the last 4 days of gestation (P = 0.03). Mares with experimentally induced placentitis never exhibited a rise in spike burst clusters but had an increase in the mean duration and activity index of large spike burst clusters in the 4 days before parturition (P < 0.04). In conclusion, control mares had a progressive, reversible rise in myoelectrical activity at night in the week preceding parturition. This was not observed in mares with experimentally induced placentitis. They exhibited an increase in the intensity and duration of large spike burst clusters possibly in response to local inflammation.

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