Figure 2 placenta human HE x70 inset x370

The maternal side of the placenta is shown in this figure. The basal plate, oi stratum basale (SB), is on the right side of the illustration. This is the part of the uterus to which the chorionic villi anchor. Along with the usual connective tissue elements, the basal plate contains specialized cells called decidual cells (DC). The same cells are shown at higher magnification in the inset. Decidual cells are usually found in clusters and have an epithelial appearance. Because of these features, they are easily identified.

Septa from the basal plate extend into the portion of the placenta that contains the chorionic villi. The septa do not contain the branches of the umbilical vessels and, on this basis, can frequently be distinguished from stem villi or their branches.

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