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Development. 2016 Dec 15;143(24):4749-4754. Epub 2016 Nov 11.

Insights from imaging the implanting embryo and the uterine environment in three dimensions.

Author information

1
Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
2
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and the Center for Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
3
Biological Imaging Development Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
4
Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA diana.laird@ucsf.edu.

Abstract

Although much is known about the embryo during implantation, the architecture of the uterine environment in which the early embryo develops is not well understood. We employed confocal imaging in combination with 3D analysis to identify and quantify dynamic changes to the luminal structure of murine uterus in preparation for implantation. When applied to mouse mutants with known implantation defects, this method detected striking peri-implantation abnormalities in uterine morphology that cannot be visualized by histology. We revealed 3D organization of uterine glands and found that they undergo a stereotypical reorientation concurrent with implantation. Furthermore, we extended this technique to generate a 3D rendering of the cycling human endometrium. Analyzing the uterine and embryo structure in 3D for different genetic mutants and pathological conditions will help uncover novel molecular pathways and global structural changes that contribute to successful implantation of an embryo.

KEYWORDS:

Blastocyst; Confocal Imaging; Embryo; Implantation; Receptivity; Surface curvature; Uterus; Wnt5a

PMID:
27836961
PMCID:
PMC5201036
DOI:
10.1242/dev.144386
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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