Rat placentation: an experimental model for investigating the hemochorial maternal-fetal interface

Placenta. 2012 Apr;33(4):233-43. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2011.11.026. Epub 2012 Jan 28.


The rat possesses hemochorial placentation with deep intrauterine trophoblast cell invasion and trophoblast-directed uterine spiral artery remodeling; features shared with human placentation. Recognition of these similarities spurred the establishment of in vitro and in vivo research methods using the rat as an animal model to address mechanistic questions regarding development of the hemochorial placenta. The purpose of this review is to provide the requisite background to help move the rat to the forefront in placentation research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange*
  • Placenta / cytology
  • Placenta / immunology
  • Placentation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Species Specificity
  • Uterine Artery / anatomy & histology
  • Uterus / blood supply*
  • Uterus / immunology