Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 60
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
the free surface; in this the uterine glands are only slightly expanded, and are lined by columnar cells; (2) stratum spongiosum, in which the gland tubes are greatly dilated and very tortuous, and are ultimately separated from one another by only a small amount of interglandular tissue, while their lining cells are flattened or cubical; (3) a thin unaltered or boundary layer, next the uterine muscular fibers, containing the deepest parts of the uterine glands, which are not dilated, and are lined with columnar epithelium; it is from this epithelium that the epithelial lining of the uterus is regenerated after pregnancy. Distinctive names are applied to different portions of the decidua. The part which covers in the ovum is named the decidua capsularis; the portion which intervenes between the ovum and the uterine wall is named the decidua basalis or decidua placentalis; it is here that the placenta is subsequently developed. The part of the decidua which lines the remainder of the body of the uterus is known as the decidua vera or decidua parietalis.
  Coincidently with the growth of the embryo, the decidua capsularis is thinned and extended (Fig. 34) and the space between it and the decidua vera is gradually obliterated, so that by the third month of pregnancy the two are in contact. By the fifth month of pregnancy the decidua capsularis has practically disappeared, while during the succeeding months the decidua vera also undergoes atrophy, owing to the increased pressure. The glands of the stratum compactum are obliterated, and their epithelium is lost. In the stratum spongiosum the glands are compressed and appear as slit-like fissures, while their epithelium undergoes degeneration. In the unaltered or boundary layer, however, the glandular epithelium retains a columnar or cubical form.

FIG. 33– Diagrammatic sections of the uterine mucous membrane: A. The non-pregnant uterus. B. The pregnant uterus, showing the thickened mucous membrane and the altered condition of the uterine glands. (Kundrat and Engelmann.) (See enlarged image)

FIG. 34– Sectional plan of the gravid uterus in the third and fourth month. (Modified from Wagner.) (See enlarged image)

The Chorion (Figs. 23 to28).—The chorion consists of two layers: an outer formed by the primitive ectoderm or trophoblast, and an inner by the somatic mesoderm; with this latter the amnion is in contact. The trophoblast is made up of an internal layer of cubical or prismatic cells, the cytotrophoblast or layer of Langhans, and an external layer of richly nucleated protoplasm devoid of cell boundaries, the syncytiotrophoblast. It undergoes rapid proliferation and forms numerous processes, the chorionic villi, which invade and destroy the uterine decidua and at the same time absorb from it nutritive materials for the growth


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