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Appearance and distribution of laminin A chain isoforms and integrin alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 6, beta 1, and beta 4 subunits in the developing human small intestinal mucosa

Appearance and distribution of laminin A chain isoforms and integrin alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 6, beta 1, and beta 4 subunits in the developing human small intestinal mucosa

Anatomical Record 242(2): 242-250

Laminin, a major component of basement membranes, is well known in its classical heterotrimeric form (B1-A-B2) to regulate diverse biological functions, including cell polarization and differentiation. However, the role of merosin, a laminin-like molecule in which an M chain is substituted for its homologous A chain, remains largely unknown. In the present study, we analyzed by indirect immunofluorescence the expression and distribution of these four laminin chains as well as the integrins alpha 2 beta 1, alpha 3 beta 1, alpha 6 beta 1, and alpha 6 beta 4, four potential receptors, at the epithelial-mesenchymal interface of the developing human small intestine, with a panel of specific monoclonal antibodies. Beginning at 7 weeks of gestation and throughout mucosal organogenesis, the B1 and B2 chains were uniformly detected at the epithelial basement membrane. The A chain also was detected beginning at 7 weeks, and its distribution at the basement membrane remained uniform throughout villus (9+ weeks) and crypt (16+ weeks) formation. In contrast, M chain expression was not observed until 16 weeks; between 16 and 20 weeks, it was exclusively associated with the base of epithelial cells that comprised the forming crypts. Integrins alpha 6 beta 1 and alpha 6 beta 4, as determined by their subunit immunolocalization, appeared to be expressed by all enterocytes from 7 to 20 weeks. In contrast, the expression of the alpha 2 beta 1 and alpha 3 beta 1 integrins was found time- and site-restricted. The alpha 2 subunit was predominantly detected in the epithelial cells of the intervillous area and its derivative, the crypt, whereas the alpha 3 subunit was strongly expressed by all epithelial cells except those located at the bottom of 19-20-week-old crypts. Taken together, these observations demonstrate that both compositional changes in the basement membrane and differential expression of receptors occur during human intestinal organogenesis, suggesting that epithelial cell-matrix interactions play a role during development.

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Accession: 042304720

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PMID: 7545357

DOI: 10.1002/ar.1092420214

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