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Research article2005Peer reviewedOpen access

The sow endosalpinx at different stages of the oestrous cycle and at anoestrus: Studies on morphological changes and infiltration by cells of the immune system

Jiwakanon J, Persson E, Kaeoket K, Dalin AM


The aim of this study was to investigate the morphological changes of the sow endosalpinx and the distribution of leukocytes throughout the oestrous cycle and at anoestrus. Nineteen crossbred sows (Swedish Landrace x Swedish Yorkshire) at late dioestrus (three), prooestrus (three), oestrus (three), early dioestrus (three), dioestrus (three) and anoestrus (four) were used. Oviductal samples from three different parts (isthmus, ampulla and infundibulum), taken immediately after slaughter, were fixed, embedded in plastic resin and stained with toluidine blue or stored in a freezer at -70degreesC until analysed by immunohistochemistry (prooestrus and anoestrus) with an avidin-biotin peroxidase method. Quantitative and qualitative examinations of oviductal epithelium and subepithelial connective tissue were performed by light microscopy. During all stages, a lower degree of morphological changes (pseudostratification, mitosis and secretory granules) was found in the isthmus compared with ampulla and infundibulum. In ampulla and infundibulum, pseudostratification, mitotic activity and secretory granules of the epithelium were high at prooestrus/oestrus. Cytoplasmic protrusions of epithelial cells with some extruded nuclei were prominent in ampulla and infundibulum at all stages except for oestrus and early dioestrus. Lymphocytes as well as CD2- and CD3-positive cells were the predominant immune cells in the epithelial layer. The numbers of lymphocytes and CD3-positive cells did not differ among segments and stages. Numbers of CD2-positive cells did not differ between prooestrus and anoestrus while the numbers were significantly higher in the infundibulum than in ampulla and isthmus. Neutrophils were only occasionally found and mainly in the infundibulum. In the subepithelial connective tissue layer, the two most commonly observed immune cell types were lymphocytes and plasma cells. The numbers of lymphocytes as well as CD2- and CD3-positive cells was lower in isthmus than in the other segments (p less than or equal to 0.001). Higher numbers of plasma cells (p less than or equal to 0.001) were found in infundibulum than in ampulla and isthmus. The numbers of lymphocytes and plasma cells were not significantly different between stages of the oestrous cycle. However, the number of neutrophils differed and were highest at prooestrus in ampulla and infundibulum. The numbers of CD2-, CD3- and CD79-positive cells did not differ between prooestrus and anoestrus whereas for CD14- and SWC3-positive cells, the numbers were higher at prooestrus (p less than or equal to 0.05) than at anoestrus. In the oviduct, the morphology differed in ampulla and infundibulum with oestrous cycle stages, which indicates an effect by ovarian steroid hormones. The immune cell infiltration was less influenced by cyclic changes. However, the immune cell infiltration (in the connective tissue) in the upper part, especially infundibulum, differed significantly from the one in the lower part, isthmus, indicating different immune functions within various parts of the oviduct

Published in

Reproduction in Domestic Animals
2005, Volume: 40, number: 1, pages: 28-39