Monolayer cultures can be established from human endometrial tissue after enzymatic dispersal into isolated glands or single cells. Three cell types that have distinct morphology by light and electron microscopy are observed in the resulting primary cultures. One cell type, an elongated spindle cell, is similar in appearance to fibroblasts derived from other tissues. A second cell type forms colonies of tightly cohesive cells, ranging in shape from oval to polygonal. These cells have typical organelles and junctional complexes characteristic of epithelial cells from the endometrium. The third cell type assumes a pavement-like appearance composed of polygonal cells when viewed by phase contrast microscopy, but lacks distinctive ultrastructural features of epithelial cells. These cells in culture resemble the endometrial stromal cell, the predominant cell type of the human endometrium in vivo. The epithelial cell does not survive subculturing but the other two cell types can be passaged through several generations and can be stored in liquid nitrogen and subsequently returned to culture.
- human endometrium
- stromal cell