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Acta Anat (Basel). 1996;155(3):145-62.

Preference of invasive cytotrophoblast for maternal vessels in early implantation in the macaque.

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Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


The interaction of cytotrophoblast with maternal endometrium, especially endometrial blood vessels, was examined in macaque gestational stages between 2 and 8 days after the onset of implantation. Serial sectioning of these early implantation sites allowed immunostaining of consecutive sections with a number of different antibodies, facilitating cell identification. In the earliest implantation site, immunostaining showed that antibody to cytokeratin stained cytotrophoblast, syncytial trophoblast, epithelial plaque and endometrial gland cells. However, only those cytotrophoblast cells near the maternal-fetal border and within vessels showed surface staining for neural cell adhesion molecules and only syncytial trophoblast showed SP1 reactivity. Even at this early stage cytotrophoblast filled the lumen of superficial arterioles, whereas dilated venules contained only a few cytotrophoblast cells. In later stages endovascular cytotrophoblast not only plugged many spiral arterioles but also migrated into the walls of these arterioles, and progressed into deeper coils. Displacement of endothelial cells and disruption of vessel walls were illustrated with antibody to factor VIII, TGF alpha, and desmin. Clusters of cytotrophoblast cells at the fetal-maternal interface tended to bypass clusters of epithelial plaque cells and larger clusters of maternal fibroblasts, but readily entered all vascular spaces. Consequently the vascular system constituted a major pathway of invasion, although the arterioles were the only component substantially invaded beyond the trophoblastic-shell/endometrial border.

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