|Embryology - 25 Oct 2016 Expand to Translate|
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- 1 Introduction
- 2 Some Recent Findings
- 3 Estrous Cycle Stages
- 4 Vaginal Smear Comparison
- 5 Rat Estrous Cycle
- 6 Mouse Estrous Cycle
- 7 Pig Estrous Cycle
- 8 Dog Estrous Cycle
- 9 Bovine Estrous Cycle
- 10 References
- 11 External Links
- 12 Glossary Links
The estrous cycle (British spelling, oestrous) is the main reproductive cycle of other species females of non-primate vertebrates, for example rats, mice, horses, pig have this form of reproductive cycle. Also do not confuse with "estrus", which is a phase of the cycle.
There are also a variety of different forms:
- Polyestrous Animals - Estrous cycles throughout the year (cattle, pigs, mice, rats).
- Seasonally Polyestrous Animals - Animals that have multiple estrous cycles only during certain periods of the year (horses, sheep, goats, deer, cats).
- Monestrous Animals - Animals that have one estrous cycle per year (dogs, wolves, foxes, and bear)
Some Recent Findings
|More recent papers|
This table shows an automated computer PubMed search using the listed sub-heading term.
References listed on the rest of the content page and the associated discussion page (listed under the publication year sub-headings) do include some editorial selection based upon both relevance and availability.
Heng Yang, Shan Lin, Xiaoping Lei, Cong Yuan, Zhanwei Tian, Yaosheng Yu, Zongsheng Zhao, Jingbo Chen Identification and profiling of microRNAs from ovary of estrous Kazakh sheep induced by nutritional status in the anestrous season. Anim. Reprod. Sci.: 2016; PubMed 27773477
Ammy M Santiago, Deborah J Clegg, Vanessa H Routh Ventromedial hypothalamic glucose sensing and glucose homeostasis vary throughout the estrous cycle. Physiol. Behav.: 2016; PubMed 27666162
Bruno Garcia Montagnini, Kennia Moura Silveira, Bruna Caroline Pierone, Nathália de Azevedo Camim, Janete Aparecida Anselmo-Franci, Suzana de Fátima Paccola Mesquita, Ana Carolina Inhasz Kiss, Daniela Cristina Ceccatto Gerardin Reproductive Parameters of Female Wistar Rats Treated with Methylphenidate during Development. Physiol. Behav.: 2016; PubMed 27575975
Taeko Ebine, Haruki Toriumi, Toshihiko Shimizu, Miyuki Unekawa, Tsubasa Takizawa, Yohei Kayama, Mamoru Shibata, Norihiro Suzuki Alterations in the threshold of the potassium concentration to evoke cortical spreading depression during the natural estrous cycle in mice. Neurosci. Res.: 2016; PubMed 27312532
Hwanhee Jang, Yohan Choi, Inkyu Yoo, Jisoo Han, Minjeong Kim, Hakhyun Ka Characterization of interferon α and β receptor IFNAR1 and IFNAR2 expression and regulation in the uterine endometrium during the estrous cycle and pregnancy in pigs. Theriogenology: 2016; PubMed 27769575
Estrous Cycle Stages
The descriptions below refer to the "typical" mammalian cycle.
- proestrus - estrus - metestrus - diestrus
The first stage in the estrous cycle immediately before estrus characterized by development of both the endometrium and ovarian follicles.
The second stage in the estrous cycle immediately before metestrus characterized by a receptivity to a male and to mating, often referred to as "heat" or "in heat". Pheromones may also be secreted only at this stage of her cycle.
The third stage in the estrous cycle immediately before diestrus characterized by sexual inactivity and the formation of the corpus luteum.
The last stage in the estrous cycle immediately before the next cycle proestrus characterized by a functional corpus luteum and an increase in the blood concentration of progesterone.
Not a stage in the estrous cycle, but a prolonged period of sexual rest where the reproductive system is quiescent.
Vaginal Smear Comparison
|Vaginal Smear Comparison Table|
|Guinea pig||Rat (Long and Evans)|
|I. Superﬁcial squamous cells with pyknotic nuclei; progressive leucopenia.||1. Small round nucleated cells; disappearance of leucocytes.|
| Intermediate (cornification) period
|| Cornification period
|II, III, IV. Appearance of deep layer cells; reappearance and great exodus of leucocytes; gradual disappearance of corniﬁecl cells; sometimes erythrocytes present.||4. Leucocytic-corniﬁed cell stage; reappearance of leucocytes; gradual disappearance of the corniﬁed cells.|
|V. Dioestrus: Leucocytes and atypical atypical vaginal cells.||5. Dioestrus: Leucocytes and vaginal cclls.|
Rat Estrous Cycle
One of the best characterised reproductive cycles, though different species of rats may differ in reproduction. In general, puberty occurs at 6-8 weeks when the oestrous cycle commences each cycle is 4-5 days.
The estrous cycle is Polyoestrous with an estrous period of approximately 12 hours.
Mouse Estrous Cycle
The mouse oestrus cycle is 4-6 days, with oestrus lasting less than 1 day. The estrous cycle stops during lactation except for one oestrus 12-20 hours postpartum. The information below refers to determining the stage of the estrous cycle in the mouse by the appearance of the vagina.
- Estrous Diestrus - Vagina has a small opening and the tissues are bluish-purple in color and very moist.
- Proestrus - Vagina is gaping and the tissues are reddish-pink and moist. Numerous longitudinal folds or striations are visible on both the dorsal and ventral lips.
- Estrus - Vaginal signs are similar to proestrus, but the tissues are lighter pink and less moist, and the striations are more pronounced.
- Metestrus-1 - Vaginal tissues are pale and dry. Dorsal lip is not as edematous as in estrus.
- Metestrus-2 - Vaginal signs are similar to metestrus-1, but the lip is less edematous and has receded. Whitish cellular debris may line the inner walls or partially fill the Vagina.
- Links: Mouse Estrous Cycle
Pig Estrous Cycle
The feedback systems between the ovaries, uterus, hypothalamus and pituitary gland govern a cycle of events that takes 18-21 days. If conception occurs this cyclic pattern is interrupted and pregnancy is maintained for approximately 114 days. Removal of the sucking stimulus at weaning triggers a new sequence of events.
Dog Estrous Cycle
- Proestrus (9 days) - Precedes estrus, estradiol concentration increases as ovarian follicules mature and the uterus enlarges. The vaginal epithelium proliferates accompanied by diapedesis of erythrocytes (most cells in vaginal smear) from uterine capillaries.
- Estrus (9 days) - Accompanied by female mating behaviour, glandular secretions increase, the vaginal epithelium becomes hyperemic, and ovulation occurs. Cycle is influenced mainly by estrogens and the interval between successive estrus cycles is about 7 months.
- Diestrus (70-80 days) - Accompanied by female non-mating behaviour, corpus lutea present and secretes progesterone. Uterine glands undergo hypertrophy and hyperplasia, vaginal secretions and the cervix constricts.
- Anestrus - Anestrus is a prolonged period of sexual rest where the reproductive system is quiescent.
- Links: Dog Development
Bovine Estrous Cycle
Specific hormone concentrations are not shown in the above graph, only the relative hormone levels at different times during the cycle.
- Links: Bovine Development
- Padmasana Singh, Amitabh Krishna, Rajagopala Sridaran Changes in bradykinin and bradykinin B(2)-receptor during estrous cycle of mouse. Acta Histochem.: 2011, 113(4);436-41 PubMed 20546864
- A K Champlin, D L Dorr, A H Gates Determining the stage of the estrous cycle in the mouse by the appearance of the vagina. Biol. Reprod.: 1973, 8(4);491-4 PubMed 4736343
F Russell Westwood The female rat reproductive cycle: a practical histological guide to staging. Toxicol Pathol: 2008, 36(3);375-84 PubMed 18441260
Claudia S Caligioni Assessing reproductive status/stages in mice. Curr Protoc Neurosci: 2009, Appendix 4;Appendix 4I PubMed 19575469
C H Hubscher, D L Brooks, J R Johnson A quantitative method for assessing stages of the rat estrous cycle. Biotech Histochem: 2005, 80(2);79-87 PubMed 16195173
Pei Su, Joyce C Wu, Jeffrey R Sommer, A Jesse Gore, Robert M Petters, William L Miller Conditional induction of ovulation in mice. Biol. Reprod.: 2005, 73(4);681-7 PubMed 15917351
A K Champlin, D L Dorr, A H Gates Determining the stage of the estrous cycle in the mouse by the appearance of the vagina. Biol. Reprod.: 1973, 8(4);491-4 PubMed 4736343
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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2016) Embryology Estrous Cycle. Retrieved October 25, 2016, from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Estrous_Cycle
- © Dr Mark Hill 2016, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G