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Theriogenology. 1996 Nov 1;46(7):1171-80.

Factors related to the time of fixation of the conceptus in mares.

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  • 1Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences, University of Wisconsin--Madison, 1655 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706 USA.


The temporal relationships among day of conceptus fixation (cessation of mobility), conceptus diameter, uterine tone, uterine contractility, and myometrial and endometrial thickness of the middle and caudal segments of the uterine horns were assessed in 13 pony mares with fixation in the caudal segment of a uterine horn. The mean day of fixation (14.9 +/- 0.3) was established by 2-h mobility trials. Uterine tone increased (P < 0.0001) gradually over Days 11 to 21, whereas uterine contractility decreased (P < 0.0001) between Days 14 and 18. The diameter of the spherical embryonic vesicle increased (P < 0.0001) between Days 11 and 17. The day of fixation and vesicle diameter on Day 14 were negatively correlated (r = -0.9, P < 0.007); the larger the vesicle, the earlier fixation occurred. Each of 4 uterine-horn diameters (endometrium and endometrium plus myometrium of middle and caudal segments) decreased (P < 0.0001) correspondingly over Days 11 to 21. On the day of fixation conceptus diameter (21.5 +/- 1.0 mm) was similar to endometrial diameter (21.1 +/- 0.4 mm) at the caudal segment. The endometrial diameter represents the distance between the inner opposite walls of the myometrium. The percentage of change between the day before and day of fixation was greater for the conceptus (18.1% increase) than for the endometrial diameter at the caudal segment (1.0% decrease). The results suggest that fixation occurred when the mobile and growing conceptus attained, on the average, a diameter equivalent to the distance between opposite inner myometrial walls at the caudal segment. The uterus became turgid by this time and presumably did not expand adequately to accommodate continued mobility of the expanding conceptus.

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