Granulated metrial gland (GMG) cells are pregnancy-specific cells that may have many functions in successful placentation and pregnancy. In the present study, changes in the rat GMG cell structure, distribution and vascular endothelial growth factor ( VEGF) expression during early pregnancy were evaluated by light microscopy. Implantation sites taken from females with spontaneous abortion were also investigated. On Day 7 of pregnancy, GMG cells were distributed through the implantation and interimplantation sites. They formed metrial glands in the mesometrial triangle on Day 9, and were observed in the decidua basalis on Day 14 of pregnancy. Avidin-biotin complex immunohistochemistry revealed that GMG cells showed moderate staining for VEGF at the beginning of pregnancy and intense staining on Days 9 and 10 of pregnancy. They were localised mostly near the newly formed blood vessels. The implantation sites from spontaneously aborting females showed numerous leucocytes in the lumen of mesometrial blood vessels. In spontaneously aborting females, GMG cells showed a distinct morphology, increased in number and volume, their granules were denser and degranulation was observed. These results suggest that rat GMG cells might be a guide for placental angiogenesis and they might share a role with leucocytes in pathological conditions.