Health knowledge and news provided by doctors.

Scientists Discover What Makes Human Embryo Attach to Uterus

Armen Hareyan's picture


A UCSF-led research team has identified the first molecular step that allows a week-old human embryo to attach to the uterus. The finding is expected to provide a new tool to diagnose and treat infertility and early pregnancy loss, the scientists report.

The researchers found convincing evidence that a molecular sticking process stops the embryo's journey along the uterine wall and starts attaching it to the wall -- the first stage of implantation. Failure of the embryo to implant causes about three-fourths of lost pregnancies.

Follow eMaxHealth on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Please, click to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to be notified about upcoming health and food tips.

The research is published in the January 17 issue of the journal Science. A perspective article on the research also appears in the issue.

The team found that about six days after fertilization, molecules on the embryo' s surface interact with molecules on the mother's uterine wall to create the sticky environment - the same combination of molecules known to stop the movement of disease-fighting leukocytes migrating through blood vessels, and allow them to attach to the blood vessel walls in areas of inflammation.

"It is