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Cell Tissue Res. 1993 May;272(2):227-36.

Trophoblastic invasion and the development of uteroplacental arteries in the macaque: immunohistochemical localization of cytokeratins, desmin, type IV collagen, laminin, and fibronectin.

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Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616-8643.


The processes by which trophoblast cells invade and modify the walls of the uteroplacental arteries of macaques during the course of gestation were examined. Antibodies to cytokeratins were employed to identify trophoblast, anti-desmin antibody to identify smooth muscle, and antibodies to type IV collagen, laminin, and fibronectin to examine changes in extracellular matrix distribution in the arterial wall. During early gestation, endovascular trophoblast adhered to the arterial wall, often in an asymmetrical distribution. As trophoblast cells moved outwardly into the tunica media, the basement membrane underlying the endothelium was lost, as indicated by gaps in the layer when stained for type IV collagen and laminin. Trophoblast cells became sequestered in the vessel wall where they hypertrophied and became surrounded by a capsule containing type IV collagen and laminin. As the trophoblast cells became established in the vessel wall, the muscular layer of the artery became discontinuous. Throughout gestation it was common for trophoblast cells to invade the vessel intimal layer and share the lining of the artery with typical endothelial cells. This general disposition of endovascular and intramural trophoblast persisted into late gestation. In addition, and contrary to the results of earlier studies of macaques, we identified trophoblastic invasion and modification of myometrial segments of the uteroplacental arteries in later gestation. We also found evidence of interstitial trophoblast cells among the stromal cells of the endometrium, especially during early gestation.

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