Luteal morphology, atresia, and plasma progesterone concentrations during the reproductive cycle of two oviparous lizards, Crotaphytus collaris and Eumeces obsoletus

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Fox, Sandra L.
Guillette, Louis J.

The American journal of anatomy. 1987 Aug; 179(4): 324-32.


From ovulation to oviposition, the corpora lutea of the oviparous lizards Crotaphytus collaris and Eumeces obsoletus exhibit three stages of luteal development: 1) luteogenesis, 2) luteal maturity, and 3) luteal regression. Each stage exhibits distinct characteristics, involving changes in: 1) luteal volume, 2) nuclear diameter of cells within the luteal cell mass, and 3) thecal development. Plasma progesterone concentration is greatest during luteogenesis and is positively correlated with ovarian atresia, although atresia occurred throughout the period of gravidity. These data suggest that in these two species, the corpora lutea secrete high amounts of progesterone immediately following ovulation and exhibit morphologically distinct stages of growth and regression.

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