Histochemical demonstration of phospholipid containing choline in the cytoplasm of murine decidual cells

Acta Anat (Basel). 1994;150(2):119-26. doi: 10.1159/000147610.


The localization of lipids in the endometrium of virgin and 6- to 9-day-pregnant mice was detected by histochemical methods. Total lipids (as shown by staining with Sudan black) and phospholipids containing choline (PCC) were detected. Sections subjected to reactions that have been proposed for the demonstration of vitamins E and D and cholesterol gave negative results. In the virgin animals, lipids were found in epithelial cells but not in the endometrial storma. On the other hand in the pregnant animals, the endometrial stroma contained both Sudan-black-stained lipids and PCC. Maximal staining was reached on day 8 of pregnancy. The staining was more conspicuous in the more differentiated decidual cells adjacent to the embryos than in the less differentiated predicidual cells. The nondecidualized stroma, situated peripherally near the myometrium did not stain for lipids. In the cytoplasm of decidual cells the reaction for PCC was observed in the form of granules, which were often arranged in groups surrounding the nuclei. We suggest that decidual cells store PCC to be mobilized as a precursor for mediators of decidualization, such as prostaglandins, that would act as paracrine inducers of the decidual reaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choline / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • Decidua / cytology
  • Decidua / growth & development
  • Decidua / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Mice / metabolism*
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Phospholipids / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Phospholipids
  • Choline