Pathological changes of the mare endometrium and genotypes for transferrin and ELA. Academic Article uri icon


  • Histological features of the endometrium, as assessed in biopsy samples, were related to Standardbred mare genotypes for transferrin, esterase (as a control) and equine leucocyte antigens (ELA). Pathological changes were found more frequently in each successively older age group of mares. Among mares aged 6-19 years, there were significant pathologic changes on first examination following an infertile breeding season for 46 of 90 (51%) of transferrin homozygotes and 50 of 146 (34%) of transferrin heterozygotes. The difference between the two groups was significant for the total data (chi 1(2) = 6.56, P = 0.010) and when the data were stratified for mare age at biopsy (chi 1(2) = 7.33, P = 0.0068). The effect of transferrin was similar in both trotters and pacers, especially for frequent genotypes commonly found in horses of both gaits. There was no effect of esterase and, in a smaller set of ELA-typed mares, no significant effect of ELA genotype on uterine biopsy category. Transferrin has a well-established microbiostatic and biocidal effect. Conceivably, heterozygotes for some combinations of transferrin variants could have a slower natural rate of endometrial deterioration than homozygotes.

published proceedings

  • J Reprod Fertil Suppl

author list (cited authors)

  • Weitkamp, L. R., Kenney, R. M., Bailey, E., MacCluer, J. W., Brown, J. S., Blanchard, T. L., ... Hunt, P. R.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Weitkamp, LR||Kenney, RM||Bailey, E||MacCluer, JW||Brown, JS||Blanchard, TL||Sertich, PL||Love, CC||Hunt, PR

publication date

  • January 1991