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Mol Aspects Med. 2013 Oct;34(5):939-80. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2012.12.011. Epub 2013 Jan 2.

Physiological and molecular determinants of embryo implantation.

Author information

  • 1State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, PR China; Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, PR China.

Abstract

Embryo implantation involves the intimate interaction between an implantation-competent blastocyst and a receptive uterus, which occurs in a limited time period known as the window of implantation. Emerging evidence shows that defects originating during embryo implantation induce ripple effects with adverse consequences on later gestation events, highlighting the significance of this event for pregnancy success. Although a multitude of cellular events and molecular pathways involved in embryo-uterine crosstalk during implantation have been identified through gene expression studies and genetically engineered mouse models, a comprehensive understanding of the nature of embryo implantation is still missing. This review focuses on recent progress with particular attention to physiological and molecular determinants of blastocyst activation, uterine receptivity, blastocyst attachment and uterine decidualization. A better understanding of underlying mechanisms governing embryo implantation should generate new strategies to rectify implantation failure and improve pregnancy rates in women.

KEYWORDS:

Blastocyst activation; Blastocyst attachment; Decidualization; Embryo implantation; Uterine receptivity

PMID:
23290997
PMCID:
PMC4278353
DOI:
10.1016/j.mam.2012.12.011
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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