Document Type : Original Article
.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
.Reproductive Health Research Centre, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
This study evaluated a novel in vitro implantation model using human endometrial mesenchymal stem cells (EMSCs), SUSD2+, and myometrial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) that were co-cultured with mouse blastocysts as the surrogate embryo.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, SUSD2+ MSCs were isolated from human endometrial cell suspensions (ECS) at the fourth passage by magnetic-activated cell sorting. The ECS and SUSD2+ cells were separately co-cultured with human myometrial muscle cells for five days. After collection of mouse blastocysts, the embryos were placed on top of the co-cultured cells for 48 hours. The interaction between the embryo and the cultured cells was assessed morphologically at the histological and ultrastructural levels, and by expression profiles of genes related to implantation.
Photomicrographs showed that trophoblastic cells grew around the embryonic cells and attached to theECS and SUSD2+ cells. Ultrastructural observations revealed pinopode and microvilli-like structures on the surfaces of both the ECS and SUSD2+ cells. Morphologically, the embryos developed to the egg-cylinder stage in both groups. Gene expression analysis showed no significant differences between the two groups in the presence of an embryo, but an increased expression of αV was detected in SUSD2+ cells compared to ECS cells in the absence of an embryo.
This study showed that SUSD2+ cells co-cultured with SMCs could interact with mouse embryos. The co-cultured cells could potentially be used as an implantation model.