Evidence for functional arterio–venous anastomoses in the ovaries of sheep

in Reproduction

Summary. Vessels with histological features characteristic of arterio–venous anastomoses were found in the stroma but not in CL. In 5 conscious ewes at the mid-luteal stage of the oestrous cycle, ovarian blood flow was significantly greater (P < 0·025) with microspheres of 50 than of 15 μm diameter in ovaries without CL (0·23 ± 0·04 (s.e.m.) and 0·11 ± 0·02 ml/min, respectively), but not in ovaries with CL (4·42 ± 0·86 and 3·73 ± 0·70 ml/min, respectively). In 5 similar but anaesthetized ewes, the portion of each ovarian artery within the ovarian vascular pedicle was bypassed with re-entrant catheters through which microspheres were perfused. A greater proportion (P < 0·01) of 50 than of 15 μm microspheres was retained in ovaries with (90 and 79%) or without (82 and 45%) a CL.

It is concluded that functional arterio–venous anastomoses are present in sheep ovaries.

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