LIGHT AND ELECTRON MICROSCOPY OF THE HUMAN ENDOMETRIAL SURFACE EPITHELIUM
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Abstract Scanning and transmission electron microscopy as well as light microscopy of the human endometrial surface epithelium were compared in 10 samples taken from normal cycling women and 4 samples from menopausal women. The aim of this study was to compare the cyclic changes in the surface epithleliwn of the human endometrium which reflect the functional cyclic changes in the uterus. This may have a significance in relation to assisted reproduction technique g and fertility. The endometrial surface epithelium was composed of two cell types; the ciliated cells and the microvilli bearing cells (non-ciliated cells). In the early proliferative phase, the number of ciliated cells were less than the non-ciliated cells. The ciliated cells showed crowded supranuclear mitochondria. free ribosomes, Golgi and ciliary apparati. The non-ciliated cells were covered by numerous microvilli, dense lysosomes, lipid droplets and bundles of microfflaments. In the mid and late proliferative phase, the ciliated cells increased and the non-ciliated cells showed subnuclear mitochondria and glycogen particles. In the luteal phase, the number of ciliated cells decreased and the non-ciliated cells displayed an apocrirte type of secretory activity. The surface Lining secretory cells contained both supra- and subnuclear aggregates of glycogen particles with giant mitochondria. After the menopause, the surface epithelium became fiat and showed both types of cells (ciliated and non-ciliated) with little secretion. These changes were similar to changes previously noted in oviductal epithelium. which may be a reflection of similar function and endocrine behaviour.