Comprehensive Physiology Wiley Online Library

Circulation to Female Reproductive Organs

Full Article on Wiley Online Library



Abstract

The sections in this article are:

1 Utero‐Ovarian Arteries and Veins
2 Blood Flow to the Nonpregnant Uterus
2.1 Effect of Estrogens
2.2 Effect of Vasoactive Compounds
3 Placental Circulation
3.1 Vascular Anatomy
3.2 Theoretical Models
3.3 Flow‐Limited Placental Clearance
3.4 Growth of Uteroplacental Blood Flow
3.5 Relation of Blood Flow to O2 Consumption in the Gravid Uterus
3.6 Comparative Aspects
3.7 Pressure‐Flow Relationship
4 Short‐Term Regulation of Uteroplacental Blood Flow
4.1 Respiratory Gases
4.2 Estrogens
4.3 Catecholamines
4.4 Prostaglandins
4.5 Renin‐Angiotensin System
4.6 Neural Control
4.7 Concepts of Placental Blood Flow Regulation
5 Ovarian Blood Flow
6 Mammary Blood Flow
Figure 1. Figure 1.

Branching of uterine arteries within the human uterus.

From Ramsey and Donner
Figure 2. Figure 2.

Semilogarithmic plot of variation of uterine blood flow in nonpregnant sheep during estrous cycle.

From Greiss and Anderson
Figure 3. Figure 3.

Preparation used to study the local effect of hormones and drugs on the uterine blood flow in sheep. Substance under investigation is injected intra‐arterially via infusion catheter, and blood flow through uterine artery is measured continually by means of an electromagnetic flow probe.

From Resnik, Meschia, et al.
Figure 4. Figure 4.

Blood flow response to 1‐min injection of 1 μg estradiol‐17β (E2) or estriol (E3) into uterine artery of nonpregnant ovariectomized ewe. Preinjection flow was approximately 10 ml/min.

From Clewell, Carson, and Meschia
Figure 5. Figure 5.

Cycloheximide blocks uterine blood flow response to estrogen. This protein‐synthesis inhibitor was infused into right uterine artery from time 0 to 2.5 h. The sheep received an intravenous injection of estrogen 30 min after time 0. Note the normal blood flow response to estrogen on left side of uterus and reversible inhibition of response on right side. Under cycloheximide blockade, uterine vasculature had a normal vasodilatory response to bradykinin.

From Killam, Meschia, et al.
Figure 6. Figure 6.

Countercurrent arrangement of maternal and fetal microcirculatory channels in placenta of a small rodent. Lightly stippled area, course of maternal blood; densely stippled area, course of fetal blood. In exchange area (labyrinth) maternal and fetal blood run in opposite directions.

From Mossman . Organogenesis, edited by Robert L. DeHaan and Heinrich Ursprung. Copyright © 1965 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Holt, Rinehart and Winston
Figure 7. Figure 7.

Circulation of maternal and fetal blood in human placenta.

From Ramsey
Figure 8. Figure 8.

Three elementary models of placental transfer.

Figure 9. Figure 9.

Ratio of clearance to blood flow (i.e., effectiveness, transfer index) plotted against ratio of permeability to blood flow with maternal and fetal placental blood flows equal. Same models as in Fig. .

Figure 10. Figure 10.

Hypothetical double countercurrent exchange formed by a maternal and a fetal capillary loop. Maternal blood enters at A carrying a highly diffusible substance with concentration 100 and runs in opposite direction to fetal blood entering at a with concentration 0. At end of arterial branches of the 2 loops, fetal concentration is 100 and maternal concentration is 0. The 2 streams run countercurrent again in the venous branches of the loops (V, v) and consequently maternal concentration increases to 100 and fetal concentration returns to 0. Result is no net transfer of highly diffusible substance from mother to fetus.

Figure 11. Figure 11.

Difference between arterial and venous oxygen content across the uterine circulation, expressed as percent of arterial oxygen content, plotted against gestational age for chronic sheep preparations. End of gestation is approximately day 145.

Figure 12. Figure 12.

Blood flow to the uterus of pregnant sows in early gestation. Note initial decline of blood flow in first 11 days of pregnancy.

From Ford and Christenson
Figure 13. Figure 13.

Inverse relation of placental blood flow to intrauterine pressure in the rhesus monkey.

From Novy et al.
Figure 14. Figure 14.

Effect of epinephrine on uterine blood flow of pregnant sheep at 130 days gestation. Progressively larger doses of epinephrine infused into left uterine artery in periods marked A, B, C, and D. Right uterine artery served as control.

From Barton, Killam, and Meschia


Figure 1.

Branching of uterine arteries within the human uterus.

From Ramsey and Donner


Figure 2.

Semilogarithmic plot of variation of uterine blood flow in nonpregnant sheep during estrous cycle.

From Greiss and Anderson


Figure 3.

Preparation used to study the local effect of hormones and drugs on the uterine blood flow in sheep. Substance under investigation is injected intra‐arterially via infusion catheter, and blood flow through uterine artery is measured continually by means of an electromagnetic flow probe.

From Resnik, Meschia, et al.


Figure 4.

Blood flow response to 1‐min injection of 1 μg estradiol‐17β (E2) or estriol (E3) into uterine artery of nonpregnant ovariectomized ewe. Preinjection flow was approximately 10 ml/min.

From Clewell, Carson, and Meschia


Figure 5.

Cycloheximide blocks uterine blood flow response to estrogen. This protein‐synthesis inhibitor was infused into right uterine artery from time 0 to 2.5 h. The sheep received an intravenous injection of estrogen 30 min after time 0. Note the normal blood flow response to estrogen on left side of uterus and reversible inhibition of response on right side. Under cycloheximide blockade, uterine vasculature had a normal vasodilatory response to bradykinin.

From Killam, Meschia, et al.


Figure 6.

Countercurrent arrangement of maternal and fetal microcirculatory channels in placenta of a small rodent. Lightly stippled area, course of maternal blood; densely stippled area, course of fetal blood. In exchange area (labyrinth) maternal and fetal blood run in opposite directions.

From Mossman . Organogenesis, edited by Robert L. DeHaan and Heinrich Ursprung. Copyright © 1965 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Holt, Rinehart and Winston


Figure 7.

Circulation of maternal and fetal blood in human placenta.

From Ramsey


Figure 8.

Three elementary models of placental transfer.



Figure 9.

Ratio of clearance to blood flow (i.e., effectiveness, transfer index) plotted against ratio of permeability to blood flow with maternal and fetal placental blood flows equal. Same models as in Fig. .



Figure 10.

Hypothetical double countercurrent exchange formed by a maternal and a fetal capillary loop. Maternal blood enters at A carrying a highly diffusible substance with concentration 100 and runs in opposite direction to fetal blood entering at a with concentration 0. At end of arterial branches of the 2 loops, fetal concentration is 100 and maternal concentration is 0. The 2 streams run countercurrent again in the venous branches of the loops (V, v) and consequently maternal concentration increases to 100 and fetal concentration returns to 0. Result is no net transfer of highly diffusible substance from mother to fetus.



Figure 11.

Difference between arterial and venous oxygen content across the uterine circulation, expressed as percent of arterial oxygen content, plotted against gestational age for chronic sheep preparations. End of gestation is approximately day 145.



Figure 12.

Blood flow to the uterus of pregnant sows in early gestation. Note initial decline of blood flow in first 11 days of pregnancy.

From Ford and Christenson


Figure 13.

Inverse relation of placental blood flow to intrauterine pressure in the rhesus monkey.

From Novy et al.


Figure 14.

Effect of epinephrine on uterine blood flow of pregnant sheep at 130 days gestation. Progressively larger doses of epinephrine infused into left uterine artery in periods marked A, B, C, and D. Right uterine artery served as control.

From Barton, Killam, and Meschia
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Giacomo Meschia. Circulation to Female Reproductive Organs. Compr Physiol 2011, Supplement 8: Handbook of Physiology, The Cardiovascular System, Peripheral Circulation and Organ Blood Flow: 241-269. First published in print 1983. doi: 10.1002/cphy.cp020308