Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Implantation failure is likely to be a major cause of infertility. Studies in mice have identified a number of molecules that are involved in implantation, but the mechanisms of implantation in the human remain unclear, largely due to the lack of models for implantation in the human that provide functional information. METHODS: Human hatched blastocysts were co-cultured with human endometrial stromal cell monolayers. Time-lapse photography of implanting blastocysts, immunostaining for cytokeratin and actin, and measurement of hCG secreted into the culture supernatants were performed. RESULTS: Blastocysts attached to and implanted into the stromal cell layer. Trophoblast outgrowth onto, and invasion into, the stromal cell layer occurred largely at two opposite poles, the orientation of which was aligned to that of the stromal cell fibroblasts. High-resolution image analysis demonstrated that the trophoblast completely penetrated the stromal cell layer. Immunostaining of whole-mounts of implantation sites revealed distinctive actin and cytokeratin-positive anchoring structures adjacent to the basal surface of the trophoblast. Blastocysts implanting into stromal cells secreted higher levels of hCG compared with those cultured on plastic. CONCLUSIONS: A robust model for the study of mechanisms of implantation of the human embryo into the endometrial stroma has been established.


Journal article


Hum Reprod

Publication Date





283 - 290


Actins, Adult, Cell Adhesion, Cell Polarity, Cells, Cultured, Chorionic Gonadotropin, Coculture Techniques, Embryo Implantation, Endometrium, Extracellular Matrix, Female, Humans, Keratins, Middle Aged, Stromal Cells, Trophoblasts