Characterisation of cytotrophoblastic-like cells present in subinvolutioned placental sites of the bitch

  • Patricia E. Fernández
  • E. L. Portiansky
  • C. G. Barbeito
  • E. J. Gimeno
Keywords: subinvolution of placental sites, trophoblastic cells, intermediate filaments, immunohistochemistry, lectins, image analysis


This paper describes an approach to study the cells present in the subinvolution of placental sites (SIPS), a pathological post partum condition of the bitch that causes persistent hemorrhage of the genital tract. The expression of intermediate filament proteins was examined to determine the fetal or maternal origin of the cytotrophoblastic-like cells found in this entity. Lectin binding on tissue sections were also studied to characterise cellular glycoconjugates. Image processing and morphometrical analysis of the histological images were done. The results revealed that the cells observed in bitches with SIPS expressed pancytokeratins but neither vimentin nor desmin, in coincidence with normal cytotrophoblasts. The lectin binding pattern of both types of cells was similar, with the only exception of Arachis hypogaea agglutinin (PNA) and Triticum vulgaris agglutinin (WGA). These observations, in addition to the non statistically significant differences between morphometrical characteristics of cytotrophoblastic and cytotrophoblastic-like cells in SIPS, might suggest the fetal origin of the latter cells which could play a role in the pathogenesis of this entity.