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Table 3 Classification of the phases of oestrous cycle based on the cell types and relative number of these cells in vaginal smears (Cora et al., [8])

From: Staging of the estrous cycle and induction of estrus in experimental rodents: an update

Oestrous phaseNeutrophilsSmall nucleated epithelial cellsLarge nucleated epithelial cellsAnucleated keratinized epithelial cellsRelative cell density
Proestrus0 to +++ to +++0 to +0 to +Low to moderate
Estrus
 Rat0 to +0 to ++0 to ++++ to +++Moderate to high
 Mouse0 to +0 to +0 to +++ to +++Moderate to high
Metestrus
 Rat+ to ++++ to +++ to +++ to +++Moderate to high
 Mouse+ to +++0 to +0 to +++ to +++Moderate to high
Diestrus++ to ++++ to +++ to ++0 to +Low to moderate
  1. 0 = none; + = few; ++ = moderate; +++ = high