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Korean Journal of Fertility and Sterility 1999;26(1):1-8.
Published online January 1, 2001.
3-Dimensional Culture System of Endometrial Cells for Studying the Human Implantation Mechanism.
Dong Wook Park, Hyun Won Yang, Hyuck Chan Kwon, Ki Hong Chang, Sei Kwang Kim, Dong Jae Cho, Kie Suk Oh
Abstract
In order to study the implantation mechanism various methods for culture of endometrial cells in vitro have been attempted. However, a disadvantage is that primary cultures of stromal and epithelial cells do not have the ability to differentiate, and therefore cannot be reproduced in the same manner as in vivo endometrium. The object of this study is to establish a three dimensional culture of endometrial cells which are both morphologically and functionally identical to in vivo endometrium. Endometrial tissues obtained after hysterectomies were cut into thin slices and treated with collagenase and trypsin-EDTA. The stromal cells and the epithelial cells were separated by centrifugation and cultured for 24 hours in DMEM media containing 10% FCS, 100 nM progesterone, and 1 nM estradiol. The cultured stromal cells were mixed with collagen gel and solidified, after which it was covered with matrigel. Epithelial cells were inoculated on the top and then cultured for 3 days. The three dimensionally cultured endometrial cells were stained for integrin alphal, alpha4, beta3, and cyclooxygenase-1, -2 by immunohistochemistry, which all showed strong expression. The cultured epithelial cells showed the formation of microvilli, tight junctions and pinopodes by electron microscopy. Studies are currently under way utilizing this three dimensional culture model to ascertain the interaction between the embryo and human endometrial cells at the time of implantation, and it is thought that further studied into a new culture environment which would allow longer periods of culture will be necessary.


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