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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 638928, 6 pages
Research Article

Ovarian Follicular Atresia of Ewes during Spring Puerperium

1Department of Normal Anatomy, Histology and Physiology, Institute of Physiology, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, 041 81 Košice, Slovakia
2Clinic of Horses, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, 041 81 Košice, Slovakia

Received 24 October 2011; Revised 2 February 2012; Accepted 3 February 2012

Academic Editor: Sumanta Nandi

Copyright © 2012 Radoslava Vlčková 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.


The distribution of healthy and atretic follicles on the ovarian surface of improved Valachian ewes 17, 24, and 32 days postpartum is reported in this study. The number of healthy follicles was higher on day 24 postpartum and their mean diameter tended to increase to day 32 ( ) with the greatest diameter of 5 mm. 78–81% of atretic follicles ≥3 mm in diameter was observed where apoptosis began in the follicular cells situated at the follicular cavity. The early atretic follicles are characterized by the presence of mitotic pictures. In one ewe 24 days postpartum, small regressive follicular cysts were observed. Contracting atresia is characterized by thickening of the theca interna even to 190 μm. Progesterone and oestradiol-17 concentrations were maintained at relatively low levels, but with no significant difference between the days postpartum.