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Cell Res. 2004 Aug;14(4):259-67.

Uterine receptivity and the plasma membrane transformation.

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Department of Anatomy and Histology, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


This review begins with a brief commentary on the diversity of placentation mechanisms, and then goes on to examine the extensive alterations which occur in the plasma membrane of uterine epithelial cells during early pregnancy across species. Ultrastructural, biochemical and more general morphological data reveal that strikingly common phenomena occur in this plasma membrane during early pregnancy despite the diversity of placental types--from epitheliochorial to hemochorial, which ultimately form in different species. To encapsulate the concept that common morphological and molecular alterations occur across species, that they are found basolaterally as well as apically, and that moreover they are an ongoing process during much of early pregnancy, not just an event at the time attachment, the term 'plasma membrane transformation' is suggested which also emphasises that alterations in this plasma membrane during early pregnancy are key to uterine receptivity.

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