Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have discovered how an embryo initially attaches to the wall of the uterus — what appears to be one of the earliest steps needed to establish a successful pregnancy.
Specifically, the researchers found that 6 days after an egg is fertilized, the trophoblast uses specialized molecules, called L-selectins, on its surface and carbohydrates on the surface of the uterus to attach itself to the wall of the uterus. At the time of implantation, the blastocyst expresses much larger amounts of L-selectin than it does before implantation.
This research suggest that trophoblast L-selectin mediates interactions with the uterus and that this adhesion mechanism may be critical to establishing human pregnancy.
The finding appears in the January 17th Science.
Robert Bock or
Marianne Glass Duffy
Message posted by: Rashmi Nemade
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