The microvascularization of the collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu) placenta was studied by vascular casts and immunolocalization of α-smooth muscle actin and vimentin, to identify the threedimensional organization and vascular flow interrelation in the microvasculature between the maternal and fetal compartments of the placentae. The immunolocalization of vimentin in the vascular endothelium and in the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels showed indented capillaries along the uterine epithelium and the trophoblast at the sides of complementary maternal and fetal microfolds, or rugae. This confers the three-dimensional structure observed in vascular casts. On the maternal side, casts demonstrated uterine folds coated by with primary and secondary ridges, and by areolae dispersed between these ridges. The arteriole runs through the center/middle of ridges, branching at the top into a microvascular network wall in a basket-like fashion. At the base of these baskets venules were formed. On the fetal side, arterioles branched centrally in the fetal rugae into a capillary network in a bulbous form, complementary to the opposite maternal depressions forming the baskets. At the base of the bulbous protrusions, the fetal venules arise. The blood vessel orientation in the materno-fetal interface of the placentae of collared peccaries suggests a blood flow pattern of the type countercurrent to crosscurrent. The same pattern has been reported in domestic swine demonstrating that, even after 38 million years, the Tayassuidae and Suidae families exhibit similar placental morphology, which is here characterized at the microvascular level.
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Vol. 29 • No. 7