The Uteroplacental Circulation: Extravillous Trophoblast

  • Fiona Lyall
  • Peter Kaufmann


In this chapter we review extravillous trophoblast (EVT) and the mechanisms that control their invasion into the decidua and myometrium. EVT is a highly migratory, proliferative and invasive population of cells that emerge from tips of anchoring villi. Like tumour invasion, trophoblast invasion of the uterus involves attachment of the cells to the extracellular matrix (ECM), degradation of the matrix and subsequent migration through it. However, in contrast to tumour invasion, trophoblast invasion is a tightly controlled process that is regulated by decidual cells, the trophoblast cells themselves and many diffusable factors within the placental bed itself. The literature reviewed will be mainly confined to humans and will focus primarily on the trophoblast cells themselves. Particular emphasis has been placed on topics that, in the authors’ opinion, have been where the most exciting developments have been. While several investigators have also studied extravillous trophoblast in pre-eclampsia, the literature on intrauterine growth restriction is sparse.


Human Placenta Trophoblast Cell Intrauterine Growth Restriction Decidual Cell Trophoblast Invasion 
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© Springer-Verlag London 2000

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  • Fiona Lyall
  • Peter Kaufmann

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