Electron microscopical tracers in the uterine epithelium of the pregnant guinea-pig

Dwight J. Kimberly, Kent L. Thornburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Horseradish peroxidase and lanthanum nitrate were used in pregnant guinea-pigs as electron dense tracers to determine whether the 'permeability' characteristics of the uterine epithelium support the hypothesis that immunoglobulin G gains access to the uterine lumen by transepithelial diffusion. Horseradish peroxidase was injected intravenously in eight animals in experiments ranging from 1-43 min and directly into the uterine lumen in five animals in experiments of 1-8 min duration. Lanthanum nitrate was injected only into the uterine lumen of eight animals for exposures of 1-8 min. Horseradish peroxidase did not traverse the junctional complexes regardless of injection site; lanthanum nitrate did not penetrate the complexes either except in one animal. We conclude that the uterine epithelium is a barrier that prevents the diffusional transfer of IgG from mother to fetus. Further studies are required to locate the site where maternal IgG is transferred to the uterine lumen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-541
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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