[Studies on the mechanism of embryo implantation].Nihon Sanka Fujinka Gakkai Zasshi. 1996 Aug; 48(8):591-603.NS
Implantation is a complex process accomplished by synchronization and interactions between embryo and endometrium by local exchange of signals including a number of cytokines and growth factors and direct cell-cell and cell-matrix contact. However, the research in early events of human implantation is still in its infancy. This presentation comprises the results of our attempts to investigate the mechanisms of human implantation process in its early stage by cell-biological method, including establishment of experimental implantation model in vitro. 1. Human trophoblast of early stage of gestation showed active cell locomotion, active endocytosis, and invasion of endometrial cell monolayer in mixed cultures. Trophoblast invasion was later arrested by transformed endometrial cells similar to decidual cells in vivo. These results appeared to indicate the interactions between trophoblast and endometrial cells in implantation. 2. Coculture system of rabbit preimplantation blastocyst and endometrial epithelium reformed from isolated endometrial epithelial cells on basement membrane matrix (Matrigel) simulated the in vivo rabbit implantation processes. This coculture system may provide a useful experimental implantation model. 3. A human trophoblast cell line was established from chorionic tissues of normal early pregnancy. These cells were cytotrophoblast-like morphology and endocrine functions. They formed the villous structures similar to those in vivo in culture on Matrigel and invasion of Matrigel was observed. These indicated the extracellular matrix may affect the morphology and function of invading trophoblast in implantation site. 4. Human endometrial epithelial single cells were cultured on Matrigel. Reconstruction of gland followed by epithelium formation quite similar to in vivo structures by migration and proliferation of isolated cells was demonstrated. Height of gland was promoted by estrogen and initiation of epithelization was upregulated by platelet-derived growth factors. This system revealed the extracellular matrix regulated morphogenesis of endometrial epithelium in vivo and is an essential substrate in experimental implantation model of endometrial epithelium. 5. Parallel cultures of endometrial epithelial cells on Matrigel were carried out with the IVF. ET patients to evaluate the endometrial morphology at time of ET. Endometrial cultures were initiated in previous cycles on Matrigel and the sera of patients were added to her own cultures from 1st day of IVF treatment cycle. Evaluation of reformed epithelium revealed the apparently unsuitable morphology for implantation in group of patients who eventually failed in pregnancy. This system may provide a useful measures in evaluation of endometrial receptivity and modality of treatment for endometrial aberrations. 6. Cyclic changes of extracellular matrix components in endometrium were investigated. Collagen I, III, IV, V were immunohistochemically estimated. Relative levels of all types of collagen except for collagen V declined at early secretory phase. In rodents, not only collagen but also laminin and fibronectin levels declined at early secretory phase. These changes may facilitate trophoblast invasion of endometrium. Collagen V distributed in myometrial surface was found to consist of subunit (alpha 1)2 alpha 2 and trophoblast growth was inhibited on substrate of alpha 1 subunit. Collagen V in myometrial surface may have a role in blocking trophoblast invasion. 7. HGF (hepatocyte growth factor) mRNA was demonstrated to be expressed during menstruation and secretory phase in endometrium distinctly and its receptor in endometrial epithelial cells and decidual cells. Positive correlation between plasma HGF levels and ultrasonographic thickness of endometrium was observed at late secretory phase. Recombinant HGF promoted proliferation of endometrial epithelial cells and decidual cells and upregulated initiation of endometrial epithelization of Matrigel.