BACKGROUND: Heparin and low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) are used widely to improve the pregnancy outcome in women with thrombophilia, miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage and fetal death. This study was designed to investigate the effects of heparin and LMWHs, enoxaparin and tinzaparin, on E-cadherin and laminin expression in placental and decidual tissues in rat pregnancy. METHODS: Wistar albino female rats (n = 48) were randomly assigned to four study groups (normal saline, heparin, enoxaparin and tinzaparin) in the preconceptional period. Tissue sections of placenta and decidua were immunohistochemically examined for the expression of E-cadherin and laminin. RESULTS: E-cadherin placental staining score of heparin group was significantly lower and E-cadherin decidual staining score of heparin and enoxaparin groups were significantly lower than control group. There were no significant differences in placental and decidual laminin staining scores among the study groups. CONCLUSIONS: Heparin and enoxaparin can reduce E-cadherin expression but not laminin expression in rat pregnancy. They might modulate trophoblast invasion. We suggest that this is the possible underlying mechanism involving in improvement of trophoblast invasion by the use of heparin and LMWH in patients with the history of miscarriage.