Table of Contents
Anatomy Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 583798, 10 pages
Research Article

Seasonal Changes in Testes Vascularisation in the Domestic Cat (Felis domesticus): Evaluation of Microvasculature, Angiogenic Activity, and Endothelial Cell Expression

1Morphology and Function Department, CIISA, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Lisbon, Technical University of Lisbon, 1300-477 Lisbon, Portugal
2Clinical Department, CIISA, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Lisbon, 1300-477 Lisbon, Portugal
3Immunology Department, Faculty of Medical Sciences, 1169-056 Lisbon, Portugal

Received 31 July 2011; Accepted 25 October 2011

Academic Editor: Ruijin Huang

Copyright © 2012 Graça Alexandre-Pires et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Some male seasonal breeders undergo testicular growth and regression throughout the year. The objective of this study was to understand the effect of seasonality on: (i) microvasculature of cat testes; (ii) angiogenic activity in testicular tissue in vitro; and (iii) testicular endothelial cells expression throughout the year. Testicular vascular areas increased in March and April, June and July, being the highest in November and December. Testes tissue differently stimulated in vitro angiogenic activity, according to seasonality, being more evident in February, and November and December. Even though CD143 expression was higher in December, smaller peaks were present in April and July. As changes in angiogenesis may play a role on testes vascular growth and regression during the breeding and non-breeding seasons, data suggest that testicular vascularisation in cats is increased in three photoperiod windows of time, November/December, March/April and June/July. This increase in testicular vascularisation might be related to higher seasonal sexual activity in cats, which is in agreement with the fact that most queens give birth at the beginning of the year, between May and July, and in September.