26 Mar A microenigneered system models multicellular events in early pregnancy
“Successful establishment of pregnancy requires adhesion of an embryo to the endometrium and subsequent invasion into the maternal tissue. Abnormalities in this critical process of implantation and placentation lead to many pregnancy complications. Here we present a microenigneered system to model a complex sequence of orchestrated multicellular events that plays an essential role in early pregnancy. Our implantation-on-a-chip is capable of reconstructing the three-dimensional structural organization of the maternal-fetal interface to model the invasion of specialized fetal extravillous trophoblasts into the maternal uterus. Using primary human cells isolated from clinical specimens, we demonstrate in vivo-like directional migration of extravillous trophoblasts towards a microengineered maternal vessel and their interactions with the endothelium necessary for vascular remodeling. Through parametric variation of the cellular microenvironment and proteomic analysis of microengineered tissues, we show the important role of decidualized stromal cells as a regulator of extravillous trophoblast migration. Furthermore, our study reveals previously unknown effects of pre-implantation maternal immune cells on extravillous trophoblast invasion. This work represents a significant advance in our ability to model early human pregnancy, and may enable the development of advanced in vitro platforms for basic and clinical research of human reproduction.“
Figures and the abstract are reproduced from Park, J.Y., Mani, S., Clair, G. et al. A microphysiological model of human trophoblast invasion during implantation. Nat Commun 13, 1252 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-28663-4 under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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