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Theriogenology. 2004 Aug;62(3-4):631-41.

Proliferation patterns in the canine endometrium during the estrous cycle.

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Department of Morphology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.


The proliferative activity in the endometrium of 58 bitches in different stages of the estrous cycle was assessed by immunohistochemical detection of the Ki-67 proliferation associated nuclear antigen and by counting mitotic figures. The Ki-67 labelling index and the mitotic index were determined in the surface epithelium, the stroma, the crypts and the basal glands by calculating the percentage of Ki-67 positive cells and mitotic figures, respectively, on a total of 500 cells of each category. Endometrial vascular proliferation was also verified by counting the number of Ki-67 positive cells on a total of 100 endothelial cells. The present study showed two proliferation peaks involving different cell groups. In the surface epithelium, the stroma, the blood vessels and the crypts, the highest labelling and mitotic indexes were noticed during proestrus, whereas for the basal glands these indexes significantly increased (P < 0.05) during estrus compared to late metestrus and anestrus. Furthermore, a slightly positive correlation (P < 0.05) was found between the labelling index in the basal glands and the serum progesterone levels, whereas the labelling indexes in the other cell groups were positively correlated with the estradiol-17 beta levels, although not always significantly. These findings suggest that regulation of the proliferation in the surface epithelium, the stroma, the blood vessels and the crypts is different from the proliferation in the basal glands.

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