Microanatomy of the human amniotic membranes. A light microscopic, transmission, and scanning electron microscopic study

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1978 Aug 15;131(8):872-80. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(16)33135-0.


The human amnion was examined by means of light microscopy and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The surface shows apart from microvilli a particular structure, called "blebs"; the intercellular junction is formed by desmosomes and a labyrinthine channel system, and at the base pedicels extend into the basement membrane. Cell shedding uncovers the basement membrane which seems to play a primordial role in preserving the intact amniotic cavity. These data underline the complex structure and the multiple role the amnion performs during gestation.

MeSH terms

  • Amnion / cytology*
  • Amnion / ultrastructure
  • Desmosomes / ultrastructure
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microvilli / ultrastructure
  • Placenta / ultrastructure
  • Pregnancy*
  • Umbilical Cord / ultrastructure