Laminin alpha1-chain shows a restricted distribution in epithelial basement membranes of fetal and adult human tissues

Exp Cell Res. 2000 Jun 15;257(2):298-309. doi: 10.1006/excr.2000.4883.


Two novel monoclonal antibodies were raised and used to study the expression of laminin (Ln) alpha1-chain in developing and adult human tissues. In both fetal and adult kidney, a distinct immunoreactivity was seen in basement membranes (BM) of most proximal tubules but not in the distal tubular or glomerular BM or in the basal laminae of blood vessels. Immunoprecipitation of metabolically labeled cultured human renal proximal tubular cells showed an abundant production and deposition of Ln alpha1-chain to the extracellular matrix, suggestive of an epithelial origin of kidney Ln-1. Quantitative cell adhesion experiments with JAR choriocarcinoma cells showed that purified human Ln-1 is a good substrate for cell adhesion that it is differently recognized by integrin receptors when compared to mouse Ln-1. In fetal and adult testes immunoreactivity was solely confined to BM of the seminiferous epithelium. In the airways BM-confined reaction was only seen in fetal budding bronchial tubules (16-19 weeks) at the pseudoglandular stage of development. In the skin a distinct immunoreactivity was confined to BM of developing hair buds but not in epithelial BMs of adult epidermis or of epidermal appendages. In other adult tissues, immunoreactivity was found in BMs of thyroid, salivary, and mammary glands as well as in BMs of endometrium and endocervix, but not of ectocervix or vagina. No immunoreactivity was found in BMs of most of the digestive tract, including the liver and pancreas, except for BMs of esophageal submucosal glands and duodenal Brunner's glands. In fetal specimens, BMs of the bottoms of the intestinal and gastric glands were positive. Basal laminae of blood vessels were generally negative for Ln alpha1 chain with the exception of specimens of both fetal and adult central nervous system in which immunoreactivity for Ln alpha1 chain was prominently confined to capillary walls. The results suggest that outside the central nervous system, Ln alpha1 chain shows a restricted and developmentally regulated expression in BMs of distinct epithelial tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Basement Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Humans
  • Kidney / embryology
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Laminin / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Laminin
  • laminin A