+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Development of smooth muscle in the human fetal uterus: an ultrastructural study



Development of smooth muscle in the human fetal uterus: an ultrastructural study



Journal of Anatomy 139: 239-252



Prenatal development of uterine smooth muscle was studied by light and electron microscopy in specimens obtained from ten human fetuses between 12 and 40 weeks gestation. Light microscopical observation of transverse sections of the body of the uterus revealed that the outer, subserosal layer of elongated cells was distinguishable from 14 weeks. This layer was more cellular than the inner layer and increased its thickness with advancing age. Ultrastructurally, the mesenchymal cells of the uterus did not contain myofilaments until 16 weeks. At 18 weeks, however, spindle shaped cells in the outer layer had a few filaments with dense bodies and well developed organelles and were identified as immature smooth muscle cells. By 31 weeks, the cells in this layer developed into almost mature smooth muscle cells, which contained abundant cytoplasmic filaments, dense plaques and surface vesicles along the cell membrane, and an external lamina. Therefore, in the human fetal uterus, smooth muscle differentiation begins at about 18 weeks and myometrium is formed in the outer layer of the wall by 31 weeks gestation. In the inner layer of the uterus that corresponds to the endometrial stroma, in addition to fibroblast-like cells, there were cells with plump cytoplasm which contained well developed granular endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus and which were identified around blood vessels by 26 weeks. These features resembled those of predecidual cells, and suggested the influence of sex steroids on the human fetal uterus.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 1 workday: $29.90)

Accession: 005135342

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 6490516


Related references

Ultrastructural study on the process of differentiation of the human fetal uterine smooth muscle cells. Japanese Journal of Clinical Electron Microscopy 17(3): 389-398, 1984

Ultrastructural changes in smooth muscle cells in leiomyoma and the myometrium of the human uterus after gossypol treatment. Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao. Acta Academiae Medicinae Sinicae 9(4): 298-301, 1987

Adenosarcoma of the uterus with extensive smooth muscle differentiation: ultrastructural study and review of the literature. Ultrastructural Pathology 21(1): 73-79, 1997

Spontaneous contraction of pseudoglandular-stage human airspaces is associated with the presence of smooth muscle-alpha-actin and smooth muscle-specific myosin heavy chain in recently differentiated fetal human airway smooth muscle. Biology of the Neonate 89(4): 211-219, 2005

Leiomyoblastoma of the uterus: An immunohistochemical and electron microscopic study of distinctive tumours with immature smooth muscle cell differentiation mimicking fetal uterine myocytes. Histopathology 42(4): 379-386, 2003

Electron microscopic study of the smooth muscle cells in the human uterus. Nihon Sanka Fujinka Gakkai Zasshi 19(3): 231-239, 1967

Ultrastructural study of smooth muscle in the human oviduct. Japanese Journal of Clinical Electron Microscopy 22(5-6): 866-867, 1989

Development of smooth muscle ultrastructural study of the chick embryo gizzard. Anatomy & Embryology 180(3): 213-226, 1989

The study of muscarinic receptor subtypes in isthmic smooth muscle of the nonpregnant human uterus (II). Journal of China Medical University 25(5): 447-448, 451, 1996

Degeneration of arterial smooth muscle cells: ultrastructural study of smooth muscle cell death in control and cholesterol-fed animals. Virchows Archiv. A, Pathology. Pathologische Anatomie 350(3): 183-204, 1970

Development of the innervation and airway smooth muscle in human fetal lung. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 20(4): 550-560, 1999

An ultrastructural study of the smooth muscle cells and nerve endings of the human stomach. Journal of Submicroscopic Cytology and Pathology 21(3): 421-437, 1989

Fetal development of striated and smooth muscle sphincters of the male urethra from a common primordium and modifications due to the development of the prostate: an anatomic and histologic study. Prostate 62(4): 388-393, 2004

Study of histochemical quantitative and ultrastructural maturation of human fetal muscle. Journal of the Neurological Sciences 31(2): 245-260, 1977