Formation and regression of the corpus luteum of the American alligator

Journal of Morphology
By: , and 



Luteal morphology of the American alligator is unique when compared to other reptiles but is similar to that of its phylogenetic relatives, the birds. The theca is extensively hypertrophied, but the granulosa never fills the cavity formed following the ovulation of the ovum. The formation of the corpus luteum (CL) is correlated with elevated plasma progesterone concentrations, which decline dramatically after oviposition with the onset of luteolysis. Unlike those of most other reptiles, the central luteal cell mass is composed of two cell types; one presumably is derived from the granulosa, whereas the other is from the theca interna. Both cell types are present throughout gravidity but only one cell type is seen during mid to late luteolysis. A significant decline in luteal volume occurs following oviposition and continues throughout the post-oviposition period. The fastest decline in luteal volume occurs in the month immediately after oviposition; this rate then slows. Luteolysis appears to continue for a year or more following oviposition, as distinct structures of luteal origin can still be identified in animals 9 months after oviposition. The size of persistent CL can be used to determine whether a given female oviposited during the previous nesting season. Females with CL having volumes greater than 0.2 cm2 or CL diameters greater than 0.4 cm were active the previous season. 

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Formation and regression of the corpus luteum of the American alligator
Series title Journal of Morphology
DOI 10.1002/jmor.1052240111
Volume 224
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Florida Integrated Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 97
Last page 110
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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