Cytokine regulation during the formation of the fetal-maternal interface: focus on cell-cell adhesion and remodelling of the extra-cellular matrix

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2009 Jun;20(3):241-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2009.05.004. Epub 2009 May 31.


The establishment of human pregnancy requires the orchestration of substantial cell differentiation and tissue remodelling processes in the context of a complex dialogue between the receptive endometrium and the implanting blastocyst, and is therefore dependent upon a complex sequence of signalling events. Cytokines play an important role in each step of implantation, modulating expression of adhesion molecules on both the fetal and maternal surfaces, regulating expression of the proteases that remodel the extra-cellular matrix, and promoting invasion and differentiation of trophoblasts. Here we review the role of cytokines in regulating the establishment of the fetal-maternal interface, with a particular focus on regulation of the functional expression of CAMs, the ECM and of the proteinases that modulate their function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Endometrium / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Pregnancy


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cytokines