Effects of estradiol on uterine perfusion in anesthetized cyclic mares affected with uterine vascular elastosis

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Abstract

Uterine vascular elastosis in mares is characterized by degeneration of uterine vasculature through thickening of the elastin layers. Factors commonly associated with this degeneration include age, parity, and chronic uterine endometritis. Affected mares have also been shown to exhibit decreases in uterine blood flow and perfusion of the uterus. Due to the increased thickness of the elastin layers, we hypothesize that vasodilatation of the uterine vasculature is also impaired. To test the functionality of these vessels, we evaluated the vasodilatory effects of estradiol on the uterine vascular bed in mares with normal vasculature and mares with severe elastosis. Both groups were tested in estrus and diestrus. Fluorescent microspheres were used to determine basal blood perfusion, followed by the intravenous administration of 1.0 μg/kg of 17β-estradiol. After 90. min, perfusion was measured once again to determine the vascular response to estradiol. Control mares in estrus displayed a significant increase in total uterine blood flow after the administration of estradiol when compared to baseline levels. No other group had a significant increase in total blood flow and perfusion after estradiol administration. The administration of estradiol in control mares induced regional increases in perfusion in the uterine horns and uterine body during estrus and only in the uterine horns during diestrus. Mares affected by elastosis exhibited no regional differences in perfusion levels post-estradiol administration. The difference in the vasodilatory response induced by estradiol between reproductively healthy mares and mares affected with elastosis indicates that the functionality of the affected vessels is compromised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Volume164
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Elastosis
  • Estradiol
  • Infertility
  • Mare
  • Uterine blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

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