Macroscopic and microscopic analysis of 2 embryos and 1 foetus derived from a sheep (Ovis aries) without breed
Keywords:Embryology, Sheep, Embryos, Foetus, Embryonic development
The interest in embryology, the science of the development of a zygote into a completely developed foetus, has increased greatly in recent years due to a number of studies involving embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. In addition, the development of techniques such as cloning has aided to understand the critical events that occur during embryonic development. In this study, we describe the morphology of two sheep embryos and one foetus using macroscopic and microscopic techniques. We investigated sheep without defined breed on days 24, 32, and 50 of gestation (estimated by crown-rump length [CR]). Macroscopically, we observed the development of E1 (24 days), with visible optic vesicle, but without retinal pigmentation and the forelimbs bud in development. In the E2 (32 days), we noticed the presence of optic retinal pigmentation and forelimbs more developed in comparison with E1. As expected, F1 revealed an eyeball already covered and the forelimbs developed. Meanwhile, microscopic analysis revealed somite, ventricle, atrium, and oral cavity in development in E1. However, in F1 we were able to identify more complex structures, such as ossification in the spine, ventricle, atrium, intraventricular septum, pericardial sac, and oral cavity with tongue. This work brings more precise and detailed data on the morphological characteristics of the major organ systems (nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and urinary) at each embryonic and foetal stage analysed.
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