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Theriogenology. 2012 Mar 15;77(5):933-9. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2011.09.024. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

Temporal association of serum progesterone concentrations and vaginal cytology in walruses (Odobenus rosmarus).

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Faunal Diversity Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Rokkodai 1-1, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan.


Concentrations of serum estradiol-17β and progesterone were monitored in six female walruses using an enzyme immunoassay. Progesterone concentrations increased from March to May in females aged 6 y or older, and subsequently declined (October). No significant elevation of estradiol-17β concentration was detected before an elevation of progesterone concentration. Vaginal smears from four females were examined with Papanicolaou staining. In all females, most epithelial cells were basophilic intermediate-superficial cells; no color change from basophilic to eosinophilic of the cells was detected. Meanwhile, the percentage of anucleate cells in vaginal smears reached its highest value before the elevation of progesterone concentration, followed by an increase in the percentage of leukocytes. We inferred that the change in populations of anucleate cells and leukocytes in vaginal smears reflected ovarian status and CL formation in female walruses.

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