A process that governs embryo implantation in the womb has been identified for the first time. The research could shed light on what goes wrong when embryos fail to implant in the lining of the womb, a leading cause of infertility. An MRC and Wellcome Trust-funded team published their findings in the journal PNAS.
Professor Helen Mardon of the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Oxford, who led the study, said: “In many women, attachment and implantation doesn’t happen and this is a major cause of infertility. By understanding better how this process works, we may be able to inform the development of drugs to help embryos implant properly.”
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Implantation of the human embryo requires Rac1-dependent endometrial stromal cell migration’ by Seema Grewal, Janet G. Carver, Anne J. Ridley and Helen J. Mardon is published in PNAS, aop Monday 29 September 2008.