Endometrial glands as a source of nutrients, growth factors and cytokines during the first trimester of human pregnancy: A morphological and immunohistochemical study

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Endometrial glands as a source of nutrients, growth factors and cytokines during the first trimester of human pregnancy: A morphological and immunohistochemical study

Publisher
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Jul 20, 2004
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Chemistry
  • Communication
  • Ecology
License
Unknown

Abstract

1477-7827-2-58.fm ral Reproductive Biology and ss BioMed CentEndocrinology Open AcceResearch Endometrial glands as a source of nutrients, growth factors and cytokines during the first trimester of human pregnancy: A morphological and immunohistochemical study Joanne Hempstock1, Tereza Cindrova-Davies1, Eric Jauniaux2 and Graham J Burton*1 Address: 1Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK and 2Academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Free and University College, London, UK Email: Joanne Hempstock - [email protected]; Tereza Cindrova-Davies - [email protected]; Eric Jauniaux - [email protected]; Graham J Burton* - [email protected] * Corresponding author Abstract Background: The maternal circulation to the human placenta is not fully established until 10–12 weeks of pregnancy. During the first trimester the intervillous space is filled by a clear fluid, in part derived from secretions from the endometrial glands via openings in the basal plate. The aim was to determine the activity of the glands throughout the first trimester, and to identify components of the secretions. Methods: Samples of human decidua basalis from 5–14 weeks gestational age were examined by transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemically. An archival collection of placenta- in-situ samples was also reviewed. Results: The thickness of the endometrium beneath the implantation site reduced from approximately 5 mm at 6 weeks to 1 mm at 14 weeks of gestation. The glandular epithelium also transformed from tall columnar cells, packed with secretory organelles, to a low cuboidal layer over this period. The lumens of the glands were always filled with precipitated secretions, and communications with the intervillous space could be traced until at least 10 weeks. The glandular epithelium reacted strongly for leukaemia inhibitory factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, epidermal growth factor, transforming growth factor beta, alpha tocopherol tra

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