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Keywords:

  • mesothelial cell;
  • peritoneum;
  • genital tract;
  • peritoneal fluid;
  • porcine

Abstract

The aim of this study was to describe the surface features of the peritoneal mesothelium covering the genital tract and adjacent ligaments of the sow to find signs of biosynthetic activation of cells. Surface features of the serosa covering the genital tract and adjacent ligaments from 14 cyclic sows, 7 in the follicular phase and 7 in the luteal phase of the estrous cycle, were examined by histology and scanning electron microscopy. Five additional sows, three in the follicular phase and two in the luteal phase of the estrous cycle, were examined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In this study, the presence of cells of the oviductal epithelium in the serosa of the infundibulum and the ampulla, as well as indications of a high functional activity of the mesothelial cells in the areas studied were two aspects that differed from the findings of previous works. Presence of endosalpingeal cells was observed in the serosal surface, showing cyclical variations with a predominance of either ciliated cells during the follicular phase or secretory cells during the luteal phase. Signs of high functional activity of the mesothelial cells included the predominance of cuboidal over flattened cells, a cytoplasm richly supplied with organelles, a dense microvillous coat, numerous primary cilia, and many secretory structures on the surface of cells. These results indicate that the serosa covering the genital area and the adjacent ligaments in the sow has an active epithelium whose coordinating role between reproductive tissues may be far more significant than previously thought. Anat Rec, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.