• horse;
  • corpus luteum;
  • chemotaxis


This study investigated the chemotactic activity of equine CL at different stages of the oestrous cycle. The purpose of this was to ascertain whether luteal tissue itself contributes to the massive influx of leucocytes around the time of natural and induced luteal regression. Corpora lutea were collected at different stages of dioestrus and after treatment with PGF Culture medium harvested afterincubation of luteal tissue for 20 h was chemotactic for both polymorphonuclear and mononuclear cells in late dioestrus (before functional regression) as well as after natural and induced luteal regression. By contrast, midluteal tissue showed no chemotactic activity. This is the first report of the ability of equine luteal tissue actively to recruit inflammatory cells in vitro and supports our earlier findings that this infiltration starts prior to functional luteolysis. We hypothesise that this early influx of inflammatory cells may play an active role in luteal regression. Further research is needed to identify the specific chemotactic factor(s).