Secretory function of the ovine uterus: effects of gestation and steroid replacement therapy. Academic Article uri icon


  • In Exp. 1, changes in uterine fluid content of protein, calcium and prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF) were examined between d 30 to 144 of gestation. Volume of uterine fluid (mean +/- SE) in the nongravid uterine horn of unilaterally pregnant ewes increased (P less than .05) between d 30 (8 +/- 1 ml) and d 144 (749 +/- 46 ml) of gestation. Protein concentration and total protein in uterine fluid also increased (P less than .05) between d 30 (2.3 +/- .4 mg/ml; 19 +/- 7 mg) and d 144 (23.5 +/- 3.3 mg/ml; 17.4 +/- 2.0 g). Total recoverable calcium (mg) in secretions increased from .1 mg (d 30) to over 1.4 g (d 144) due to day of gestation effects (P less than .05). Total PGF also increased (P less than .01) from 7 ng on d 30 to 15.7 g on d 144. In Exp. II, ovariectomized (OVX) ewes were treated with either corn oil, estrone (E), progesterone (P) or P+E (PE) for 30 d. Treatment with P or PE increased calcium concentration and content (P less than .01) in secretions, but differences in uterine fluid volumes and concentrations of protein and PGF were not significant. Treatment of OVX ewes with P stimulated (P less than .05) in vitro synthesis of secretory proteins by endometrium, whereas treatment with E enhanced release of unlabeled proteins (P less than .05). The major endometrial secretory proteins were identified in allantoic fluids from d 60 to term and were detected along the mesenchymal border of the chorioallantois using immunohistochemistry. Results from this study indicate that P may be a primary hormone regulating accumulation of fluid, protein, calcium and specific endometrial proteins in the uterine lumen during gestation, and that uterine milk proteins gain access to the fetal-placental unit.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Moffatt, R. J., Bazer, F. W., Roberts, R. M., & Thatcher, W. W.

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Moffatt, RJ||Bazer, FW||Roberts, RM||Thatcher, WW

publication date

  • November 1987