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A comparative stereological study of the term placenta in the donkey, pony and Thoroughbred

A comparative stereological study of the term placenta in the donkey, pony and Thoroughbred,10.1016/j.theriogenology.2010.03.006,Theriogenology,M. C.

A comparative stereological study of the term placenta in the donkey, pony and Thoroughbred   (Citations: 1)
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The aim of the study was to compare horse and donkey placentae using stereological techniques. Term placentae were collected at spontaneous foaling from seven Thoroughbred mares, seven pony mares, and six jenny donkeys. Maternal and foal weights were recorded and the mass, volume, and gross area of each allantochorion was also recorded. Ten random biopsies were recovered and processed for light microscopy from which the surface density of the microcotyledons (Sv) and the total microscopic area of fetomaternal contact were calculated stereologically. Gestation length was longer in the donkeys than the other two groups (median values: 371 vs. 327 and 341 days, P < 0.05). There were significant correlations between foal birthweight and gross area (rho = 0.89; n = 20; P < 0.05), mass (rho = 0.84; n = 20; P < 0.05) and volume (rho = 0.89; n = 20; P < 0.05) of the allantochorion. Sv was higher in the donkey placenta than the other groups (median values: 0.05 vs. 0.03 and 0.04 μm−1, P < 0.05) although placental efficiency was lower in the donkeys (median values: 0.87 vs. 1.33 and 1.32 kg/m2, P < 0.01). The results of the study confirmed that, although strong morphological similarities exist between the allantochorion of the horse and donkey, that of the donkey develops more complex microcotyledons, as judged stereologically, and exhibits a lower placental efficiency. These differences may be related to maternal genotype and/or the longer gestation length shown by the donkey compared to the horse, but a negative correlation (rho = −0.92, P < 0.01) was also found between age and placental efficiency in donkeys.
Journal: Theriogenology , vol. 74, no. 4, pp. 627-631, 2010
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