Growth and role of the corpus luteum throughout delayed gestation in the potoroo, Potorous tridactylus

in Reproduction
Authors: S. L. Bryant and R. W. Rose
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Summary. The growth cycle of the corpus luteum (CL) of the potoroo is similar to that of other macropodids. During delayed gestation, the post-partum CL remains quiescent until it is reactivated by removal of the sucking pouch young. The CL then undergoes a period of growth, rapid from Day 6 until Day 12, followed by a gradual decline from Day 21 to Day 27.

Excision of the CL before Day 6 of pregnancy either inhibited embryonic development or failed to support it. Excision of the CL between 6 and 21 days after removal of pouch young did not prevent embryos developing to full term but interfered with parturition. Excision on Day 25 after removal of pouch young allowed birth but impaired lactation, neonates dying within 2 days. By Day 27, the CL appeared to be no longer essential for embryonic development, birth or neonate survival. It is suggested that the CL of the potoroo is required for a slightly greater proportion of pregnancy than in most larger kangaroos because the birth canal must be prepared before each parturition.


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