Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Effects of oral treatment with N-acetylcysteine on the viscosity of intrauterine mucus and endometrial function in estrous mares (2012)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Witte, T. S.
    Melkus, E.
    Walter, I.
    Senge, B.
    Schwab, S.
    Aurich, C.
    Heuwieser, W.
    Theriogenology; 78(6) — S. 1199–1208
    ISSN: 0093-691x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2012.05.013
    Pubmed: 22819282
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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    Persistent breeding-induced endometritis is ranked as the third most common medical problem in the adult mare and leads to enormous economic loss in horse breeding. In mares suffering from persistent breeding-induced endometritis, increased amounts of intrauterine (i.u.) fluid or viscous mucus in estrus or after breeding may act as a barrier for sperm and can contribute to low fertility. Current therapies of these mares aim to eliminate i.u. fluid and mucus by uterine lavage and/or administration of ecbolic drugs. Recently, i.u. administration of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been shown to support therapy in mares with endometritis. It was the objective of the present study to investigate effects of an oral administration of NAC on the viscosity of i.u. fluid in estrous mares. It was hypothesized that oral treatment with NAC reduces the viscosity of i.u. fluid and has a positive effect on the inflammatory response of the endometrium. Mares (n = 12) were included in the study as soon as estrus was detected (ovarian follicle >3.0 cm and endometrial edema), which was defined as Day 1. They were randomly assigned to a treatment (10 mg/kg NAC on Days 1-4) or a control group (no treatment). On days 1 and 5 i.u. mucus was collected and its rheologic properties were accessed. On Day 5, endometrial biopsies were obtained and evaluated for integrity of the luminal epithelium, number of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN), staining for cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2), staining with Kiel 67 antigen (Ki-67), lectins and periodic acid Schiff (PAS). In the treatment group, viscosity of i.u. mucus increased significantly between Days 1 and 5 (P < 0.05), while no differences were found in control mares (n.s.). At no time were significant differences between treated and control mares seen. Integrity of epithelium was not affected. After NAC treatment the mean number of PMN in endometrial biopsies was significantly lower compared to mares of the control group (1.9 ± 0.3 vs. 4.8 ± 0.4; P < 0.05). Nuclear immunostaining for COX2 was significantly lower after NAC treatment compared to control mares (P < 0.05). Score for PAS and Alcain staining of mucus in deep uterine glands differed significantly between groups (both P < 0.05). We conclude that oral NAC treatment does not reduce viscosity of uterine mucus but has an antiinflammatory effect on the equine endometrium.