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, 208 (1), 54-67

Genes Coding for Basement Membrane Glycoproteins Laminin, Nidogen, and Collagen IV Are Differentially Expressed in the Nervous System and by Epithelial, Endothelial, and Mesenchymal Cells of the Mouse Embryo

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Genes Coding for Basement Membrane Glycoproteins Laminin, Nidogen, and Collagen IV Are Differentially Expressed in the Nervous System and by Epithelial, Endothelial, and Mesenchymal Cells of the Mouse Embryo

T Thomas et al. Exp Cell Res.

Abstract

The pattern of laminin A, B1, B2, nidogen, and collagen alpha 1 (IV) gene expression in the 12.5-day mouse embryo was determined by in situ hybridization. Laminin B1, B2, and collagen alpha 1 (IV) mRNAs were present in many epithelial and mesenchymal compartments. Laminin A mRNA had a more restricted distribution, being present in cells closely associated with basement membranes and also in the ependymal layer of the neural tube. Nidogen was not produced by any epithelium, but was abundant in mesenchymal and endothelial cells. These results demonstrate that mesenchymal cells contribute significantly to basement membrane production, and that many cells not associated with typical basement membranes produced high levels of mRNAs coding for basement membrane components. Very few cell types produced all five gene products, and some tissues preferentially expressed only one or two of the five genes. This study shows that basement membranes at the epithelial-mesenchymal interface in the majority of mouse embryonic tissues are assembled from components derived from both cell types, and that heterogeneous matrix structures containing different laminin subunits and/or nidogen are likely to be present in the central nervous system and other tissues of the midgestation mouse embryo.

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