Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 54, Issue 22, pp 4083–4093 | Cite as

Embryo implantation: A time for recalling and forwarding

  • Qi Chen
  • HongYing Peng
  • Ying Zhang
  • Li Lei
  • YuJing Cao
  • EnKui Duan
Review / Physiology


The success of embryo implantation is a critical step towards further embryo development and pregnancy outcome. The observations and investigations on embryo implantation have been over a century. A huge body of knowledge has been accumulated in anatomy, histology, ultrastructure and hormonal regulation; as well as recently in depth information about molecular signaling pathways got from studies of genomic wide gene screening and specific gene deletion. The knowledge from basic research has also substantially helped to initiate and improve the Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) in clinical applications. Now we’ve known that the normal embryo implantation involves the embryo’s development into an implantation-competent blastocyst and the synchronized transformation of uteri into a receptive stage. The interdependent relationship between the blastocyst and uterus involves complicated hormonal regulation and local paracrine, juxtacrine interactions. In this paper, we review some important historical findings regarding uterine receptivity and blastocyst activation, as well as some less discussed topics such as embryo spacing, embryo orientation. Further understandings on detailed mechanisms during the process of embryo implantation will help cure women infertility as well as develop new generation of non-steroids contraceptives.


embryo implantation uterine receptivity blastocyst activation research history 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • HongYing Peng
    • 1
  • Ying Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Li Lei
    • 1
    • 2
  • YuJing Cao
    • 1
  • EnKui Duan
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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