Nutritional deficiency and placenta calcification underlie constitutive, selective embryo loss in pregnant South American plains vizcacha, Lagostomus maximus (Rodentia, Caviomorpha).Theriogenology. 2020 Jun 07; 155:77-87.T
Plains vizcacha females are able to ovulate up to 800 oocytes per estrus cycle. However, just 10-12 embryos are implanted and only two of them, those located nearest the cervix, are gestated to term. Between 26 and 70 days post-coitum, a constitutive resorption occurs from the embryos located proximal to the ovary, extending progressively toward those distally implanted. Our previous studies on the dynamics of gestation in L. maximus, led us to hypothesize some kind of placental and nutritional insufficiency as the basis for the resorption process. We analyzed histology and arterial architecture of the reproductive tract in pregnant and non-pregnant females. Uterine horns are irrigated through the uterine artery, a branch of the internal iliac artery, in an ascending way from the cervix; segmental arteries irrigating the embryo vesicles become thinner as they approach the ovary. Contrast solution administered during angiographies accumulated in the placenta of embryos closest to cervix. Thus, blood stream favors the embryos nearest the cervix, indicating a gradual nutritional deficiency of those closest to the ovary. Besides, placenta becomes calcified early, at mid-gestation, during the resorption process. Finally, the detection of specialized endothelial venules and inflammatory cells suggest the concurrent participation of immunological processes in embryo vesicles undergoing resorption.