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Life Sci. 2001 Dec 21;70(5):567-76.

Identification of norepinephrine in bovine oviductal fluid by high performance liquid chromatography.

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Penn State University, University Park 16802, USA.


The final stages of sperm maturation, fertilization and early embryonic development take place in the microenvironment of the oviduct and are essential for successful reproduction in mammals. Although catecholamines have been shown to have beneficial effects on mammalian gametes in vitro, identification of catecholamines in native bovine oviductal fluid has not been studied. The objective of this research was to identify catecholamines in bovine oviductal fluid and to determine whether concentrations of catecholamines change with stage of the estrous cycle. Oviductal fluid was collected via indwelling oviductal cannulae and assayed for the presence of catecholamines by high performance liquid chromatography. Norepinephrine was the only catecholamine detected, in concentrations ranging from 0.828 ng/ml - 1117 ng/ml. The presence of norepinephrine in oviductal fluid corresponded to a period of time just prior to, during, and after ovulation, when serum progesterone levels were low. This was a consistent finding in ODF collected from normally cycling cows. Potential functions of norepinephrine in oviductal fluid include regulation of fluid formation, induction of capacitation and the acrosome reaction in spermatozoa, and cleavage of the early embryo.

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