Nonvillous Parts of the Placenta

  • Kurt Benirschke
  • Peter Kaufmann


The vast majority of cellular and syncytial tropho-blast from the previllous stages of placentation is consumed in the development of the placental villi. Here it forms the villous cytotrophoblast (Lang-nans’ cells, inner layer of the villous surface tro-phoblast) and the villous syncytiotrophoblast (syncytium, the superficial layer, i.e., facing the intervillous space). The remaining trophoblast, which is not used for villous formation, is the basic material used for the development of all other parts of the placenta: chorion laeve, marginal zone, chorionic plate, basal plate including cell columns, septa, and cell islands. Syncytiotrophoblast is amitotic and thus represents an acellular end-stage tissue. It must not be confused with “cells”: nor should syncytiotrophoblast be named “cells” at all. It is our preference to speak of Langhans’ cells only when designating the cytotrophoblastic layer of the villi—those cells destined to become syncytium.


Basal Plate Cell Column Human Placenta Decidual Cell Spiral Artery 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt Benirschke
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Kaufmann
    • 3
  1. 1.Pathology and Reproductive MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.University Medical CenterSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Institut für Anatomie der Medizinischen Fakultät, Rheinisch-Westfälische TechnischeHochschule AachenAachenGermany

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