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Reproduction. 2004 Dec;128(6):679-95.

Animal models of implantation.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, 1 Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030-3498, USA.


Implantation is an intricately timed event necessary in the process of viviparous birth that allows mammals to nourish and protect their young during early development. Human implantation begins when the blastocyst both assumes a fixed position in the uterus and establishes a more intimate relationship with the endometrium. Due to the impracticalities of studying implantation in humans, animal models are necessary to decipher the molecular and mechanical events of this process. This review will discuss the differences in implantation between different animal models and describe how these differences can be utilized to investigate discrete implantation stages. In addition, factors that have been shown to be involved in implantation in the human and other various animal models including growth factors, cytokines, modulators of cell adhesion, and developmental factors will be discussed, and examples from each will be given.

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