Formation and fate of the corpus luteum in the Dusky leaf monkey (Presbytis obscura)



The formation and fate of the corpus luteum have been described for a previously un researched species of South-east Asian colobine, the Dusky leaf monkey, Presbytis obscura. Histological material from 44 wild female monkeys collected at various stages of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and lactation over a 12-month period was available for study. The corpus luteum of the menstrual cycle was a cystic structure and consisted of a thin rim of luteal tissue surrounding a central cavity filled with a meshwork of fibrin. At the end of the luteal phase the corpus luteum either degenerated into a corpus albicans, or became transformed into a corpus aberrans. Corpora aberrantia have previously only been described in the ovaries of the rhesus monkey, where they may persist for many months. Ultimately the corpus aberrans may also degenerate into a corpus albicans. Small corpora lutea atretica were observed during early pregnancy but there was no evidence of corpora lutea accessoria. Anovulatory cycles were common amongst the females included in this study and may play a role in limiting the growth of troops in their natural environment. Comparisons have been drawn between the findings presented here and those published for other species of catarrhine primate.