Morphometric and Histological Characteristics of the Uterus of Rusa Deer (Rusa timorensis) during Oestrus
The purpose of this study was to provide baseline data on the histological characteristics of the uterus of an uncommon tropical deer species, Rusa deer (Rusa timorensis) in captivity. Samples (1cm3) of the the entire parts of the uterus (horn, body and neck) from seven (n = 7) Rusa timorensis hinds in oestrus (exhibiting receptivity to the stag the day before slaughter) were obtained from Universiti Putra Malaysia deer breeding unit and fixed in 10% formalin and 4% gluteraldehyde for light and scanning electron microscopy respectively. In the utero-tubal junction, simple tubular glands, similar to endometrial glands were observed. In the endometrium, ciliated cells were scattered among the secretory cells with proliferation of straight endometrial uterine glands which are lined by tall columnar cells with plasma cells at the basement membrane. These glands were extremely well developed and their histological structure indicates increased secretion preparatory to pregnancy. The study demonstrated that the Rusa deer showed increased reproductive parameters as well as parameters manifested in venison production. The microstructure of uterus of Rusa deer shows extremely positive characteristics for nidation of the egg cell and normal development of the embryo. From these investigations, it is clear that the microstructure of the uterus shows favourable conditions that allow for proper development of a healthy embryo even in captivity.
Key words: Captivity, histology, oestrus, Rusa timorensis, uterus.