Age Related Morphological Changes in the Cervix of the West African Dwarf goat (Capra hircus)
Keywords:cervical rings, cervix, postnatal development, tunica muscularis, West African Dwarf goat
The cervix which changes with the reproductive cycle, history and age of the females, provides a natural communication between the uterus and the outside environment. This study investigated the chronological and morphological changes of the cervix of the West African Dwarf (WAD) goat during postnatal development. Forty-five female WAD goats ranging from birth, Weeks 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 and 28 of five goats each were used. The cervices were exteriorised, examined and morphometric parameters obtained and then prepared for histological examinations. The cervix is a firm body in all the age groups and internally bore thick muscular cervical rings which increased with age. The straight cervical canal is straight and can be easily penetrated by an artificial insemination pipette. The gross morphometry of the cervix increased significantly (p < 0.05) with age. The lamina propria-submucosa lacked cervical glands. The tunica muscularis showed histological evidence of postnatal development with increase in age of WAD goat. The epithelium of the cervix was initially pseudostratified columnar at birth but became simple columnar by week 12. Periodic Acid Schiff (PAS) stain showed some mucus secretory activities at week 4. In conclusion, the study revealed that the cervix of WAD goat is not fully developed at birth but undergoes a postnatal development. The onset of secretory activities is associated with adenogenesis of uterine glands. Thus, the WAD goat probably attains puberty at week 16, earlier than previously reported.
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