Endometrial decidualization and deciduosis in aged rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Amanda P. Beck, Ildiko Erdelyi, Caroline J. Zeiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Superficial decidualization of the endometrial stroma is an essential feature of the implantation stage of pregnancy in rhesus macaques and other primates. Decidualization involves proliferation of the endometrial stromal cells, with differentiation into morphologically distinct decidual cells. Previous reports involving nonpregnant rhesus monkeys have described localized and widespread endometrial decidualization in response to administration of progesterone and synthetic progestogens. Ectopic decidua or 'deciduosis' describes the condition in which groups of decidual cells are located outside of the endometrium, most often in the ovaries, uterus and cervix but also in various other organs. In humans, most cases of deciduosis are associated with normal pregnancy, and ectopic decidua can be found in the ovary in nearly all term pregnancies. Here we describe pronounced endometrial decidualization in 2 rhesus macaques. Both macaques had been treated long-term with medroxyprogesterone acetate for presumed endometriosis, which was confirmed in one of the macaques at postmortem examination. In one animal, florid extrauterine and peritoneal serosal decidualization was admixed multifocally with carcinomatosis from a primary colonic adenocarcinoma. Cells constituting endometrial and serosal decidualization reactions were immunopositive for the stromal markers CD10, collagen IV, smooth muscle actin, and vimentin and immunonegative for cytokeratin. In contrast, carcinomatous foci were cytokeratin-positive. To our knowledge, this report describes the first cases of serosal peritoneal decidualization in rhesus macaques. The concurrent presentation of serosal peritoneal decidualization with carcinomatosis is unique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-156
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • veterinary(all)


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