Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Many of the cilia in the oviducts of rhesus monkeys are formed in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, and lost in the subsequent luteal phase (Brenner, 1969a). This striking phenomenon has rarely been observed in other species, and its occurrence in human oviducts is a point of dispute. This study was designed to determine whether cyclic shedding and renewal of oviductal cilia occur in a primate species other than the rhesus monkey and to reveal the surface characteristics of the oviductal mucosa in a subhuman primate. Oviducts were removed from Macaca nemestrina females at three specific times during the menstrual cycle and examined by scanning electron microscopy. The fimbriae appeared to be extensively ciliated at midcycle but only sparsely ciliated in the early follicular and late luteal phases. Early in the cycle, large numbers of cells were seen in the process of ciliogenesis, but in the late luteal phase there were signs of ciliary degeneration and shedding. The ampullar epithelium showed similar though less dramatic changes, and the isthmus little change. Long-term ovariectomy caused almost complete deciliation of the fimbrial and ampullar epithelium, but treatment of ovariectomized animals with estrogen for only a few days restored the epithelium to normal. Despite the high degree of variability in the mucosa, it was clear that the oviducts of M. nemestrina, like those of the rhesus monkey, undergo cyclic ciliogenesis and deciliation. The surface features of the oviductal lining in M. nemestrina are described here for the first time.
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