Develpmental changes at the materno-embryonic interface in early pregnancy of the alpaca, Lamos pacos

LV Olivera, DA Zago, CJ Jones, E Bevilacqua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study analyses the manner in which trophoblast cells adhere to uterine epithelium and the subsequent interactions that contribute to the establishment of epitheliochorial placentation in the alpaca Lama pacos. Specimens at the luteal and follicular phases and at 22, 26, 30 and 45 days of pregnancy (op) were processed for morphological studies. On day 15 op, the blastocysts are completely free within the uterine lumen, with implantation starting around day 20. On days 22 and 26 of gestation, the trophoblast is apposed to the epithelial surface of the uterus, with areas of contact and adhesion by means of complex interdigitation. Implantation sites occur prevalently in the left uterine horn, but an expanded trophoblast also occupies large extensions of the right horn, where the maternofetal interaction shows peculiar areas of apposition. As development continues, attachment areas become more extensive. On days 30 and 45, many secretory granules can be seen in the uterine epithelium, while giant multinucleate cells appear interposed between the remaining trophoblast cells, showing intense alkaline phosphatase activity, deposits containing iron and PAS-positive granules. Placental lactogen hormone is not present within the cytoplasm of the binucleate or multinucleate trophoblast cells. By day 30 of gestation, the trophoblast layer is lined by an extraembryonic connective tissue that by day 45 is well vascularized, thus indicating the starting point of placental formation. Fetal and maternal capillaries indent the epithelium and the trophoblast, narrowing the specialized areas of exchange, which occur along the entire maternofetal interface, characterizing the diffuse nature of this placenta.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-331
Number of pages15
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2003


  • Camelids
  • Chorion
  • Endometrium
  • Implantation
  • Trophoblast


Dive into the research topics of 'Develpmental changes at the materno-embryonic interface in early pregnancy of the alpaca, Lamos pacos'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this