Short-term culture of peritoneum explants confirms attachment of endometrium to intact peritoneal mesothelium

Craig A. Witz, Mika R. Thomas, Iris A. Montoya-Rodriguez, Anitha S. Nair, Victoria E. Centonze, Robert S. Schenken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the initial adhesion of endometrium to the peritoneum. Design: Descriptive study using light and confocal laser-scanning microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy. Setting: University-based laboratory. Patient(s): Women without endometriosis undergoing surgery for benign conditions. Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Explants of peritoneum (n = 20), prepared from four patients, were cultured for 1 hour with mechanically dispersed proliferative or secretory endometrium. Peritoneum was cultured with endometrium from the same patient. Specimens were fixed and serially sectioned for hematoxylin and eosin stain, immunohistochemistry using an anti-cytokeratin monoclonal antibody, and transmission electron microscopy. Result(s): In 17 of 20 explants, endometrium was adherent to intact mesothelium. There was no evidence of transmesothelial invasion at any sites of attachment. Although in most cases endometrium was adherent to mesothelium via endometrial stroma, there were many sites of endometrial epithelium-mesothelium attachment. Confocal laser scanning microscopy demonstrated an intact monolayer of cytokeratin-positive cells below the sites of endometrial implantation. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated intact, viable, mesothelial cells below sites of attachment. Conclusion(s): This study demonstrates that endometrium rapidly adheres to intact peritoneal mesothelium. In addition, this study demonstrates that endometrial epithelial cells, as well as stroma, can attach to mesothelium. Further studies are needed that characterize the mechanism of endometrial-mesothelial cell adhesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Confocal
  • Electron microscopy
  • Endometriosis
  • Laser-scanning microscopy
  • Mesothelium
  • Peritoneum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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