Sexual development and reproductive success of young female voles Microtus canicaudus Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/dr26z0764

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  • Exposure to a strange male increased the sexual development of 18-day-old females to a greater extent than did exposure to either young or adult females. Reproductive tract weights, mean diameters of Graafian follicles, and incidence of vaginal estrus were all greater in the male-exposed group during either the first or second week of treatment. No consistent differences in these parameters were apparent between the female-exposed groups. By the end of three weeks large numbers of females in all experimental groups appeared to have reached first estrus. Exposure to males did not appear to have a stimulatory effect on overall growth in 18-day-old females. Females were shown to be capable of becoming pregnant as early as 18 days of age. Young females produced healthy appearing litters of comparable weight to those of adult mothers. However, offspring survival to 18 days and mean weight of surviving young were much greater for litters born to adult females. Adult females also showed a much greater incidence of successful post-partum mating than did young females. Corpora lutea in both young and adult females increased in size throughout pregnancy. There was no increase in number of corpora lutea in either group. However, adult females tended to have a greater number of corpora lutea than embryos. The mean diameter of Graafian follicles was greater in adult females throughout pregnancy. By the end of pregnancy though, both young and adult females had large, well-developed Graafian follicles. Pseudopregnancy lasts for between one and two weeks in young females mated to vasectomized males. Corpora lutea in these females were indistinguishable from those of pregnancy at the end of one week. By the end of the second week these corpora lutea had degenerated. In some cases new sets of corpora lutea were present after two weeks.
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