Electron microscopy of the initial stages of placentation in the pig

Anat Embryol (Berl). 1985;172(3):281-93. doi: 10.1007/BF00318976.


To elucidate the morphology of the initial stages of epitheliochorial placentation in the pig, material from 10 sows of the Danish Landrace and from one Göttinger minipig gilt from day 13 to day 26 of gestation was processed for scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The observed foetomaternal interaction from day 19 1/2 minipig placenta corresponded well to the observations on the Danish Landrace placenta. From the results and the discussion it was concluded that the following structures were implicated in the initial phases of placentation in the pig: Protruding epithelial proliferations of the uterine epithelium enclosed by chorionic caps serving to immobilize the blastocyst (days 13 and 14). A thick glycocalyx on the maternal and a thin one on the foetal epithelium before contact. Close apposition between the apical plasma membranes from trophoblastic and uterine epithelium (day 14). Development of interdigitating microvilli (days 15-16). Formation of apical domes on the uterine epithelium closely related to the trophoblast provided with long cytoplasmic extensions into a luminal space between the apical domes, apparently representing a transition from histiotropic to haemotrophic nutrition (days 15-20). Placentation, development of interdigitating microvilli between foetal and maternal epithelium, was extended but not terminated in the peripheral zone at day 26.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / ultrastructure
  • Endometrium / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microvilli / ultrastructure
  • Placenta / ultrastructure*
  • Placentation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Swine / embryology*
  • Trophoblasts / ultrastructure
  • Uterus / ultrastructure*