ULTRASTRUCTURAL CHANGES IN THE PLACENTA OF THE EWE AFTER FETAL PITUITARY STALK SECTION

D. H. Steven, Fiona Bass, C. J.M. Jansen, E. J. Krane, Kathleen Mallon, Carole A. Samuel, A. L. Thomas, P. W. Nathanielsz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Binucleate cells are a normal component of the ovine chorionic epithelium, but are usually separated from the fetal‐maternal interface by a thin layer of cytoplasm derived from the principal or uninucleate cells of the trophoblast. They are distinguished not only by two distinct and separate nuclei, but also by conspicuous membrane‐bound cytoplasmic inclusions in the form of haloed droplets. After fetal pituitary stalk section binucleate cells move up to and participate in the formation of the fetal‐maternal interface; furthermore they extend clear blunt‐ended pseudopodia into the maternal epithelial syncytium. These activities do not appear to be suppressed by fetal infusion of cortisol or ACTH. The apparent motility of binucleate cells, together with the presence of haloed droplets within the maternal epithelial syncytium, suggests that after fetal pituitary stalk section binucleate cells invade the uterine syncytium, lose their limiting membranes and discharge their contents into the syncytial cytoplasm. Large molecules such as ovine placental lactogen may be transported from fetal to maternal tissues by this mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-229
Number of pages9
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Physiology and Cognate Medical Sciences
Volume63
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 16 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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