Formation and structure of the hemodichorial chorio-allantoic placenta of the bat (Myotis lucifugus lucifugusy)

Authors

  • Allen C. Enders,

    1. Department of Anatomy, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, and Division of Biological Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
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  • William A. Wimsatt

    1. Department of Anatomy, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, and Division of Biological Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
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  • This study was supported by grant 1 RO1 HD-02613, from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, and grants G-24043, GB-6435X, and GB-5024 from the National Science Foundation.

Abstract

The definitive chorio-allantoic placenta of the bat is hemodichorial, since the cytotrophoblast layer persists to term. The syncytium contains intrasyncytial lacunae in which there is a continuous lamina interrupted only where portions of the syncytium communicate with the thin ectoplasmic layer at the surface of the maternal blood spaces.

The future cytotrophoblast and syncytial trophoblast layers can be distinguished shortly after implantation. The future syncytial layer is not syncytial until after it invests most of the anastomotic vessels of the vascular tuft. The resulting labyrinth is converted from the vaso-chorial to the hemodichorial condition as processes of syncytium pass through the basement membrane of the maternal vessels and spread out under the endothelial cells. The basement membrane is then included within the syncytium as the intrasyncytial lamina, and the maternal endothelial cells are lost. The numerous communications of the maternal vessels with the labyrinth seen early in gestation are reduced through occlusion of many of the efferent channels, which process also contributes areas of necrosis to the decidua basalis. The peculiarity of a maternal extracellular membrane being incorporated into the fetal portion of the placenta is discussed.

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