During implantation, uterine luminal epithelial (LE) cells first interact with the blastocyst trophectoderm. Within 30hr after the initiation of attachment, LE cells surrounding the blastocyst in the implantation chamber (crypt) disappear, allowing trophoblast cells to make direct physical contact with the underneath stroma for successful implantation. The mechanism for the extraction of LE cells was thought to be mediated by apoptosis. Here, we show that LE cells in direct contact with the blastocyst are endocytosed by trophoblast cells by adopting the nonapoptotic cell-in-cell invasion process (entosis) in the absence of caspase 3 activation. Our invivo observations were reinforced by the results of co-culture experiments with primary uterine epithelial cells with trophoblast stem cells or blastocysts showing internalization of epithelial cells by trophoblasts. We have identified entosis as a mechanism to remove LE cells by trophoblast cells in implantation, conferring a role for entosis in an important physiological process.
Li, Y., Sun, X., & Dey, S. K. (2015). Entosis allows timely elimination of the luminal epithelial barrier for embryo implantation. Cell Reports, 11(3), 358–365. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2015.03.035