Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 280, Issue 2, pp 371–381 | Cite as

Ovarian and uterine lymphatic drainage in Australian flying-foxes (genus Pteropus, suborder Megachiroptera)

  • Craig S. T. Pow
  • Len Martin


Ovarian lymphatics of flying-foxes were traced to determine if they could transport hormones directly from ovary to ipsilateral uterine horn, thereby stimulating the localised endometrial growth which is characteristic of these animals. Intra-ovarian injections of ink and serial histological sections did not reveal any such connection. All major ovarian lymphatics and those from the cranial tip of each uterine horn drain cranially, terminating in 1 or 2 lymph nodes lying caudal to the ipsilateral kidney. For much of their course, the major ovarian lymphatics run in the adventitia of the ovarian venous sinus. This sinus encloses the coiled ovarian artery, which provides the major blood supply to the cranial end of the ipsilateral uterine horn. Some fine ovarian lymphatics run in the adventitia of the coiled ovarian artery. The enclosure of the coiled ovarian artery by the ovarian venous drainage is thought to provide the main route for transfer of steroids from ovarian vein to ovarian artery and thence to ipsilateral uterine horn. The ovarian lymphatics described here do not bypass the vascular pathway but provide an additional route for counter-or cross-current transfer of ovarian steroids to the ovarian arterial supply to the uterus.

Key words

Ovary Uterus Lymphatic vessels Oestrogen Progesterone Corpus luteum Countercurrent Pteropus scapulatus, P. poliocephalus, P. alecto (Chiroptera) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig S. T. Pow
    • 1
  • Len Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyThe University of QueenslandAustralia

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