Detailed time course of ovum transport in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta).
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The time course of ovum transport was studied in a colony of untreated spontaneously cycling female rhesus monkeys. Plasma estrogen values were determined daily by radioimmunoassay starting on Day 8 of the menstrual cycle to provide predictive indication of impending ovulation. After detection of a well defined preovulatory increase in estrogen production (levels in excess of 200-300 pg/ml) serial laparoscopies were initiated and performed every 12 to 24 h to monitor ovarian follicular development and to visually confirm the occurrence of ovulation. Laparotomies were performed approximately 24, 48, or 72 h post ovulation and the reproductive tracts were flushed in situ to recover ova. The ampulla, isthmus and uterus were flushed separately, allowing the position of the ova within the tract to be determined. Ova were consistently recovered from the tubal ampulla at 24 and 48 h postovulation. By 72 h ova were recovered from both the tube and the uterus. Our findings, based upon accurately times ovulation, indicate that normal tubal ovum transport time for the untreated, spontaneously cycling rhesus monkey is approximately 72 h.