Morphogenetic effects of soluble laminin-5 on cultured epithelial cells and tissue explants

Exp Cell Res. 1996 Nov 1;228(2):262-70. doi: 10.1006/excr.1996.0325.


The rat cell line 804G assembles an extracellular matrix which induces not only the rapid adhesion and spreading of epithelial cells but also the assembly of a cell-matrix attachment device called the hemidesmosome. The major component of this matrix is laminin-5. We have purified rat laminin-5 from medium conditioned by 804G cells. Epithelial cells which are co-incubated with medium supplemented with soluble laminin-5 adhere and spread rapidly. Furthermore, human carcinoma cells undergo a dramatic morphologic change in the presence of laminin-5 and form orderly arrays resembling epithelial sheets. Soluble rat laminin-5 is selectively incorporated into an insoluble matrix of epithelial cells in vitro, since rat-specific laminin-5 antibodies stain cell-substrate contacts. Addition of medium containing soluble laminin-5 to explanted, human corneal rims induces assembly of hemidesmosomes, important cell-matrix attachment devices. Furthermore, rat-specific laminin-5 antibodies stain areas of contact between corneal epithelium and basement membrane, indicating that rat laminin-5 from the medium is incorporated into basement membrane. We discuss the use of laminin-5 as a medium supplement for the culture of both epithelial cells and epithelial tissue explants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / isolation & purification
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Cornea / physiology*
  • Cornea / ultrastructure*
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Desmosomes / drug effects
  • Desmosomes / physiology*
  • Desmosomes / ultrastructure
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epithelium / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / cytology*
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects
  • Keratinocytes / physiology*
  • Kinetics
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Morphogenesis
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms
  • Rats
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • kalinin