Analysis of epitopes on endometrial epithelium by scanning immunoelectron microscopy

Andrew W. Horne, John O. White, Raul A. Margara, Geoffrey H. Trew, El Nasir Lalani, Margaret A. Mobberley, Timothy A. Ryder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Scanning immunoelectron microscopy was applied to human endometrial epithelium for the first time to simultaneously determine epitope localisation and cellular architecture. The method was established using HMFG1, an antibody to a glycoform of the MUC1 mucin. This was chosen because of the potential importance of MUC1 in connection with endometrial receptivity. Biopsies of mid-secretory phase endometrium were labelled using HMFG1 and silver-enhanced, gold-conjugated secondary antibody was then visualised by back-scattered electron imaging. The method provided a highly specific localisation of the HMFG1 epitope to the ciliated and ’ciliogenic’ cells of the endometrial surface. In contrast, no reactivity was evident on the microvillous cells and endometrial pinopodes. The potential to integrate the study of the molecular and ultrastructural changes that occur in the endometrium by using scanning immunoelectron microscopy offers a powerful means of expanding our understanding of the adaptation of the endometrium in preparation for embryo implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Electron
  • Endometrium
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • MUC1 mucin peptide
  • Microscopy
  • Scanning


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