The purpose of this study was to evaluate, in cycling and pregnant Nelore cows, the volumetric proportion of the corpus luteum and the distribution of lutein cells with cytoplasmic granules. Twenty four ovaries with corpus luteum were collected in a slaughterhouse. The ovaries were distributed into two groups: pregnant and non-pregnant cows. The group of pregnant cows was divided according to the stage of pregnancy, by the crown-rump fetus length: 1st third - until 90 days, 2nd third - between 91 and 180 days and 3rd third - between 181 and 270 days. The corpus luteum were processed for inclusion in paraplast, and slides were stained for analysis in light microscopy. The constituents quantified in the volumetric proportion were: lutein cells cytoplasm and nucleus, connective tissue and fibroblasts, endothelial cells and pericyte and blood vessels. The volumetric proportion of lutein cells cytoplasm decreased significantly from 46.1±2.8% to 37.9±3.5%, and also decreased significantly in the nucleus from 9.2±1.0% to 6.2±1.0% between the first and the second trimester of pregnancy. The amount of connective tissue and fibroblasts increased significantly throughout gestation, with 20.9±5.4% on the first trimester and 34.0±4.2% on the second. Granules were evidenced by the histochemical technique of Xylidine Ponceau and Bromophenol blue, indicating their probable protein composition. The amount of lutein cells with granules increased throughout gestation, but significant difference was observed only between the first (2.3±1.9%) and second trimester (25.5±20.3%). The cytoplasmic and nucleus volumetric proportion decreased during pregnancy and the volumetric proportion of connective tissue increased. The amount of lutein cells with granules increased throughout pregnancy.
Nelore cow; corpus luteum; histology; cytoplasmic granules