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Cell Tissue Res. 1978 Sep 26;192(3):391-407.

Studies on the ultrastructure and permeability of the hemotrichorial placenta. I. Intercellular junctions of layer I and tracer administration into the maternal compartment.


The distribution of lanthanum chloride and horseradish peroxidase within the full-term chorioallantoic placenta of the rat was investigated 1 to 20 min after administration of these tracers into the maternal blood circulation. Both tracers rapidly penetrate trophoblastic layer I and diffuse into the interspace between layers I and II. They are localized in extensive infoldings and caveolae of the outer surface of layer II. The syncytial character of layer II is confirmed at this development stage of the placenta. There is no vesicular uptake or penetration beyond layer II until 20 min after tracer administration. Our results indicate that trophoblastic layer II is the main barrier in the chorioallantoic rat placenta preventing the permeation of macromolecules from maternal to fetal compartments. With freeze-fracturing, particulate strutures of variable arrangement and size are found between adjacent cells of layer I. With goniometric analysis small gaps between the appositions of the membrane are observed. These structures are interpreted as tight and/or gap junctions during stages of assembly or disassembly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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