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G. L. Jackson, H. T. Jansen, D. E. Kuehl, and R. D. Shanks

Summary. Two groups of ovary-intact ewes were placed in separate photochambers on the day of the vernal equinox (VE). One group was exposed to a 16 h light:8 h dark (16L:8D) photoperiod and the other to 8L:16D. On the day of the summer solstice (SS) and at 90–91-day intervals thereafter [autumnal equinox (AE), winter solstice (WS), VE and SS], each group was changed to the opposite photoperiod. The latent period between each change and either onset or cessation of cycles, as determined by measuring blood progesterone concentrations, was recorded. The latent period between change to 8L:16D and onset of cycles was shortest after the exposure at AE and longest after exposure at WS (P < 0·001). The latent period after AE was shorter (P < 0·001) than after VE. The correlations were small between ambient temperature and interval to onset of cycles. The latent period to cessation of cycles in response to 16L:8D was shorter after SS exposure than after WS exposure (P < 0·01), but other differences were not significant. There was a strong (r = –0·94, P < 0·05) negative correlation between interval to cessation of cycles and ambient temperature. Cessation of cycles in response to 16L:8D occurred more rapidly (P < 0·001) than onset in response to 8L:16D. These results show that responsiveness to the inductive effects of photoperiod varies significantly with time of the sidereal year.

Keywords: sheep; seasonal breeding; photoperiod; circannual rhythm; progesterone

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R. J. Wordinger, A. E. Moss, T. Lockard, D. Gray, I-F. C. Chang, and T. L. Jackson

Summary. Uterine samples were either rapidly frozen in liquid nitrogen or placed in Bouin's fixative. A commercial primary polyclonal antibody made in rabbits against human recombinant basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was used. Western blot analysis indicated that the antibody was specific for bFGF and did not react with acidic FGF. The primary antibody was followed by either goat anti-rabbit immunoglobulin G (IgG) conjugated to the fluorescent phycobiliprotein tracer phycoerythrin or biotinylated goat anti-rabbit IgG and a biotin–avidin–peroxidase complex. Specificity controls using adjacent sections were carried out by (i) substituting normal rabbit sera for the primary antisera, (ii) omitting the primary antisera or (iii) extracting sections with NaCl (2 mol l−1) prior to the immunochemical procedures. No binding of the antibody was observed with any of the specificity control sections. The connective tissue stroma and the basal lamina associated with uterine glandular and surface epithelial layers were positive for bFGF. Localization was not observed within surface or glandular epithelial cells. The basal lamina and endothelial cells associated with blood vessels within the uterus and the smooth muscle cells of the myometrium were positive for bFGF. There were no differences in uterine localization patterns or intensity during the oestrous cycle or after ovariectomy and steroid hormone supplementation. These studies demonstrate the specific localization of bFGF within the mouse uterus.

Keywords: basic fibroblast growth factor; mouse