Semin Reprod Med 1999; 17(1): 107-115
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1016216
Copyright © 1999 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Models for the Study of Uterine Receptivity for Blastocyst Implantation

Kathy L. Sharpe-Timms* , Stanley R. Glasser
  • *Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia Missouri
  • †Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, and Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Texas A&M University Health Science System, Houston, Texas
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
15 March 2008 (online)


A variety of models have been developed to study endometrial receptivity which involves normal, appropriately timed endometrial development and remodeling for blastocyst attachment and trophoblast invasion during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Due to species differences, the human is by far the best model per se by which to study human endometrial receptivity. Techniques have evolved to obtain in vivo data on endometrial receptivity using hysteroscopy, ultrasonography or magnetic resonance imaging. Despite species differences, comparative studies of mammalian models and tissue- and cell culture models using endometrial tissue or cells harvested at particular phases of the reproductive cycle, or following experimental manipulation, have been used productively to study endometrial function. Differences as well as similarities have proven to be instructive. Such models have been used to study a variety of entities, such as homotypic and heterotypic cell-cell interaction, the role of steroids, cytokines, growth factors, immunomodulatory agents and pharmacological substances. These models have also been used to study cellular, biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved with uterine receptivity. This chapter was designed to provide a critical review of contemporary literature relating to in vivo models and laboratory strategies and paradigms for the study of uterine receptivity for blastocyst implantation.