The uterus of the viviparous skink Chalcides ocellatus tiligugu was studied by SEM and LM during the annual cycle. Three functional phases were identified: preovulatory (spring), gestatory (summer), and quiescent (autumn-winter), characterized by changes in the uterine wall (mainly the endometrial layer). In the preovulatory phase, the uterine wall increases in thickness; its luminal epithelium has ciliated cells and two types of unciliated secretory cells. The first type secretes sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which form the amorphous inner layer of the eggshell membrane; the second type secretes acidic glycoproteins that form the intrafibrillar matrix of the outer layer of the eggshell membrane. The lamina propria contains simple alveolar glands that secrete the collagen fibers of the eggshell membrane. During the gestatory phase, the glycoproteins produced by secretory cells of the second type have histotrophic activity for the developing embryo. The uterus widens to form incubation chambers with two hemispheres, one embryonic and the other abembryonic. Both a chorioallantoic placenta and an omphaloplacenta with histotrophic activity are present in late gestation. The chorioallantoic placenta, with aspects of a Weekes (1935) Type III placenta, develops in the embryonic hemisphere. The omphaloplacenta forms at the vegetative pole of the egg and shows cellular hypertrophy of the bilaminar omphalopleure and uterus. During the quiescent phase, the uterus gradually decreases in thickness and activity; its luminal epithelium does not show secretory activity. The annual variations in the myometrial layer involved the inner circular and the outer longitudinal muscle layers. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Uterine morphology during the annual cycle in Chalcides ocellatus tiligugu (Gmelin) (Squamata : Scincidae) / Corso, Gavina; Delitala, Gm; Carcupino, Marcella. - In: JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY. - ISSN 0362-2525. - 243:2(2000), pp. 153-165. [10.1002/(SICI)1097-4687(200002)243:2<153::AID-JMOR4>3.0.CO;2-Q]