Spontaneous embryo resorption in the mouse is triggered by embryonic apoptosis followed by rapid removal via maternal sterile purulent inflammation
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Background In normal mammalian development a high percentage of implantations is lost by spontaneous resorption. This is a major problem in assisted reproduction and blastocyst transfer. Which embryo will be resorbed is unpredictable. Resorption is very fast, so that with conventional methods only final haemorrhagic stages are encountered. Here we describe the histology and immunohistochemistry of 23 spontaneous embryo resorptions between days 7 and 13 of murine development, which were identified by high-resolution ultrasound (US) in a previous study. Results In the early resorptions detected at day 7, the embryo proper was replaced by maternal haemorrhage and a suppurate focus of maternal neutrophils. In the decidua maternal macrophages transformed to foam cells and formed a second focus of tissue dissolution. In the late resorptions detected at day 9, the embryo underwent apoptosis without involvement of maternal cells. The apoptotic embryonic cells expressed caspase 3 and embryonic blood cells developed a macrophage like phenotype. Subsequently, the wall of the embryonic vesicle ruptured and the apoptotic embryo was aborted into the uterine lumen. Abortion was initiated by degeneration of the embryonic lacunar trophoblast and dissolution of the maternal decidua capsularis via sterile inflammation and accompanied by maternal haemorrhage, invasion of the apoptotic embryo by maternal neutrophils, and contraction rings of the uterine muscle layers. Conclusions We conclude that spontaneous resorption starts with endogenous apoptosis of the embryo without maternal contribution. After break down of the foetal-maternal border, the apoptotic embryo is invaded by maternal neutrophils, aborted into the uterine lumen, and rapidly resorbed. We assume that the innate maternal unspecific inflammation is elicited by disintegrating apoptotic embryonic cells. Show more
Journal / seriesBMC Developmental Biology
Pages / Article No.
SubjectTrophoblast; Decidua; Pregnancy failure; Foam cells; Cell death; Macrophage
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