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J Reprod Fertil Suppl. 1997;52:151-64.

Extracellular matrix and the implantation cascade in pigs.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Anatomy & Public Health, Texas A & M University, College Station 77843, USA.


The structural and functional alterations of uterine epithelial cells that permit the apical-apical union of conceptus and uterine epithelium are complex and are likely to involve many different adhesion molecules with distinct but inter-related functions. A number of changes in the molecular composition at the apical surface of uterine epithelial cells associated with the transition from the pre-receptive to the receptive state in the pig uterus are reviewed. Molecules that function in the adhesion cascade resulting in implantation are represented by a variety of adhesion systems. However, integrins are probably the dominant adhesion systems because their capacity to mediate adhesion is linked to their activation by engaging other surface molecules.

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