Bovine trophoblastic cell vesicle attachment to polarized endometrial epithelial cells in vitro

Linda Munson, Joanna E. Ellington, Donald H. Schlafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Interactions between bovine trophoblastic cell vesicles and bovine endometrial epithelial cells were investigated by light and electron microscopy and lectin histochemistry in a cell culture model of early blastocyst attachment. Primary lines of bovine endometrial epithelial cells were polarized by subculturing on substrata and maintaining cultures at the air-medium interface. Trophoblastic cell vesicles were obtained from elongated Day 14 blastocysts. In co-cultures, trophoblastic cell vesicles adhered to endometrial epithelial cells through microvillus interdigitation and formation of primitive membrane junctional complexes. After 3 d in co-culture, a multilayered cellular plaque formed at the trophoblastic cell-endometrial epithelial cell interface. The type of cells contributing to this local proliferative response could not be identified specifically as trophoblastic or endometrial cells, and areas of membrane fusion between cells were noted. Ultrastructural features of vesicle adhesion in cultures were similar to features of conceptus attachment in vivo. Lectins bound to apical membranes of trophoblastic cells and endometrial epithelial cells in all locations except contact sites between vesicles and endometrial cells. These findings suggest that local cellular proliferation and membrane fusion between trophoblastic and endometrial epithelial cells may be early events in conceptus implantation in the cow and these events can be reproduced in culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalIn Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • bovine
  • cell culture
  • endometrium
  • implantation
  • trophoblast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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