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Anat Rec. 1999 Nov 1;256(3):279-99.

Implantation in the marmoset monkey: expansion of the early implantation site.

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Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, University of California, Davis, California, 95616, USA.


This study was initiated to examine the early stages of trophoblast adhesion and invasion during implantation in the marmoset. Seven implantation sites were found in the uteri of four marmosets taken between days 13 and 15 of gestation. Three implantation sites in two uteri were examined in detail by electron microscopy. Between days 13 and 15, the marmoset implantation site expanded peripherally by adding areas where syncytial trophoblast penetrated between uterine luminal epithelial cells. Such penetrating masses often bridged openings of endometrial glands, shared junctional complexes with the uterine epithelial cells between which they are infiltrating, and subsequently reached the residual basal lamina of the uterine luminal epithelium. Centripetal to the peripheral region was an intermediate region in which syncytial trophoblast overlay individual clusters of epithelial cells and rested along the basal lamina. In this region there was some evidence of fusion of syncytial trophoblast with uterine epithelial cells. In the central region of the implantation site near the inner cell mass and amnion the trophoblast formed elaborate lamellipodia in relation to the basal lamina. In one of the three specimens examined with electron microscopy there were two foci where trophoblast penetrated through the basal lamina. It was also in the central region that trophoblast penetrated farthest into the uterine glands. The gland cells closest to trophoblast were less closely associated and lost their columnar shape, forming large round cells similar to the epithelial plaque cells of other primates. Where two blastocysts implanted on the same side of the uterus a conjoint membrane was formed which in regions consisted solely of syncytial trophoblast with two basal surfaces and two basal laminas. The prolonged period of time when the implantation site expands within the plane of the uterine epithelium (trophoblastic plate stage) and the peripheral to central sequence in extent of development make this primate a particularly useful animal for studies of trophoblast adhesion to and penetration of the uterine luminal epithelium.

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