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Development. 1990 May;109(1):29-36.

Colocalization of TGF-beta 1 and collagen I and III, fibronectin and glycosaminoglycans during lung branching morphogenesis.

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  • 1Biological Carcinogenesis and Development Program, National Cancer Institute, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, Maryland 21701.


The possible in vivo role of TGF-beta 1 in regulating various proteins of the extracellular matrix, including fibronectin, collagen I and III, and glycosaminoglycans, was examined by immunohistochemical methods during critical stages of lung morphogenesis in the 11- to 18-day-old mouse embryo. Sections of Bouin-fixed, paraffin-embedded whole embryos were exposed to polyclonal antibodies specific to synthetic peptides present in the precursor part of TGF-beta 1 (pro-TGF-beta 1), in the processed TGF-beta 1 (antibody CC), collagen I and III, fibronectin, followed by the PAP or ABC technique to visualize the location of the antibody. GAG were stained with Alcian Blue 8GX. Our results indicate colocalization of TGF-beta 1 expression and that of matrix proteins in the developing lung when branching morphogenesis (cleft formation) and tissue stabilization occur. The presence of TGF-beta 1 at the epithelial-mesenchymal interfaces of stalks and clefts at a time when matrix proteins can first be visualized in these areas, suggests a direct participation of the growth factor in the development of the basic architecture of the lung.

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