Association of intermediate filaments with vinculin-containing adhesion plaques of fibroblasts

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1987;8(3):274-83. doi: 10.1002/cm.970080308.


Double immunofluorescence staining of quail embryo fibroblasts with rabbit antibody to vinculin and mouse monoclonal antibody to vimentin revealed a coincidence between fluorescence patterns for cell-substrate focal contacts and intermediate filaments. Most of the vinculin-containing adhesion plaques coincided with the ends of vimentin-positive fibrils. This association was further corroborated by immunoelection microscopic observations of the cytoskeletons of quail and mouse fibroblasts using a platinum replica technique. The intermediate filaments were identified either by direct treatment with antivimentin IgM or by an indirect immunogold staining method. Colcemid treatment of the cells caused a collapse of intermediate filaments and destroyed their association with focal contacts. During the early stages of the colcemid-induced collapse of the intermediate filaments, single vimentin fibrils appeared to retain their association with focal contacts. The possible role of the intermediate filaments in the formation and maintenance of focal contacts is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure*
  • Demecolcine / pharmacology
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Intermediate Filaments / ultrastructure*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Muscle Proteins / analysis*
  • Quail
  • Vimentin / analysis
  • Vinculin


  • Muscle Proteins
  • Vimentin
  • Vinculin
  • Demecolcine