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8 - Trophoblast invasion and uterine artery remodelling in primates

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 February 2011

Graham J. Burton
Affiliation:
Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge
David J. P. Barker
Affiliation:
MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton
Ashley Moffett
Affiliation:
Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge
Kent Thornburg
Affiliation:
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, OR
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Summary

This chapter tries to identify some trends of placental evolution in primates by comparing placental organization between those with haemochorial placentas, with special attention to the great apes. Due to the possible relevance to placental pathologies and pregnancy complications, it particularly focuses on trophoblast invasion and uterine spiral artery remodelling. In Old World monkeys, a cytotrophoblastic shell is formed but remains intact throughout pregnancy, showing a clear demarcation from the underlying decidua where there is little interstitial invasion by extravillous trophoblast. Endovascular invasion starts much earlier in rhesus monkeys than in the human. Decidualization in the human is more extensive than in rhesus monkeys and baboons, and has been related to the deeper trophoblast invasion in our own species. A few cases of pre-eclampsia have been described in chimpanzees and gorillas, but no information is available about a possibly impaired invasion depth or defects in spiral artery remodelling.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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