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, 75 (3), 411-420.e1

The Morphological Basis of Proestrus Endometrial Bleeding in Canines


The Morphological Basis of Proestrus Endometrial Bleeding in Canines

I Walter et al. Theriogenology.


Endometrial bleeding during proestrus is a well-known phenomenon in the bitch. However, the exact events on the cellular level have not been studied. In the present investigation, immunohistochemical methods and transmission electron microscopy were employed to obtain more information about this cyclic event in canines. Long, stretched blood vessels were seen in H&E stained sections during proestrus. These vessels showed mitotic activity, as evidenced by Ki67 immunostaining. Although the endothelial lining and basement membrane of endometrial blood vessels seemed continuous, as indicated by immunohistochemical staining for laminin and Von Willebrand factor, transmission electron microscopy showed an extreme thinning and even interruption of the vascular wall in endometrial venules. Platelets were frequently seen in those areas, and also detected by immunohistochemistry. Interestingly, all endometrial capillaries examined by electron microscopy had an intact wall. We therefore postulate the endometrial venules to be the blood vessels that are mainly responsible for proestrus endometrial bleeding, rather than subepithelial capillaries.

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