Equine endometrial development during late fetal and postnatal periods

Natalie S. Fraser, Robyn R. Wilborn, Amie K. Johnson, Timothy D. Braden, Anne A. Wiley, Igor F. Canisso, Frank F. Bartol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Equine uterine development, including endometrial histogenesis, begins prenatally and is completed postnatally. Little is known about this process in the horse. Uterine tissue was acquired from 38 foals, ranging in developmental age from gestational day (GD) 300 to postnatal day (PND) 180, for assessment of endometrial histogenesis. Patterns of endometrial cell proliferation were evaluated by multispectral imaging of uterine tissue sections stained immunofluorescently for Ki-67. Labeling index (LI, % labeled cells) for Ki-67 was calculated for each endometrial cell compartment (luminal epithelium, glandular epithelium, stroma). Histologically, nascent endometrial glands were present in all pre- and postnatal uterine tissues. Overall, Ki-67 LI increased (P < 0.0001) from the pre-to postnatal periods, and was higher (P < 0.0001) in epithelium as compared to stroma. Postnatally, endometrial Ki-67 LI increased (P < 0.0001) from week 1 to week 24. Our findings confirm that, in contrast to neonatal patterns of uterine development described for domestic ungulates, equine endometrial histogenesis begins prenatally, marked by the appearance of uterine glands as early as GD 300. Epithelial proliferation associated with maturation of the equine endometrium is pronounced by postnatal week 24.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Oct 15 2020


  • Development
  • Endometrium
  • Equine
  • Fetal
  • Neonatal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


Dive into the research topics of 'Equine endometrial development during late fetal and postnatal periods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this