The Implantation Reaction

  • Margaret B. Parr
  • Earl L. Parr


The evolution of the reproductive process has resulted in the development of elaborate adaptive mechanisms to ensure the survival of the offspring. In viviparous animals such adaptations include the development of complex and diverse forms of implantation and placentation in order to support the attachment and development of embryos in utero. The implantation process exhibits remarkable diversity among species, most prominently in the extent of trophoblastic invasion into the uterus. Yet the general aim of implantation is accomplished in all species: to attach the embryo to the uterine wall and to establish an intimate union between maternal and fetal tissues so that an exchange of nutrients and waste products can occur. The details of the earliest interactions between the blastocyst and endometrium have been the focus of extensive study. It is our purpose to summarize some of the more important developments in this field since the publication of Finn’s fine review of the subject in the second edition of this book (Finn, 1977). In this chapter we have chosen to discuss four aspects of the implantation process: (1) adhesion of the trophoblast to the uterine epithelium; (2) increased vascular permeability at implantation sites; (3) the decidual cell reaction; and (4) loss of epithelial cells surrounding the implanting blastocyst. Our discussion is based primarily on the results of investigations using common laboratory animals, namely, the rat, mouse, and rabbit. In addition, other recent reviews and symposia may be of interest to the reader (Weitlauf, 1979; Glasser and McCormack, 1981; Finn, 1980; Leroy et al., 1980; Glasser and Bullock, 1981; Dey and Johnson, 1980; Kearns and Lala, 1983; Bell, 1983; Kennedy, 1983a; Chévez, 1984; Enders et al., 1983, 1985; Enders and Schlafke, 1986; Yoshinaga et al., 1986).


Implantation Site Luminal Epithelium Decidual Cell Uterine Epithelium Mouse Blastocyst 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret B. Parr
    • 1
  • Earl L. Parr
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomySchool of Medicine, Southern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA

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