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Microvasc Res. 1991 Nov;42(3):255-65.

Extracellular matrix of newly forming vessels--an immunohistochemical study.

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Retina Center at St. Joseph Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland 21204.


During wound healing, embryological development, and solid tumor growth, the established vasculature gives rise to large numbers of new blood vessels. This neovascular response occurs at the level of the capillary bed, where endothelial cells divide rapidly, locally remodel the surrounding stroma, and migrate away from existing vessels to form capillary sprouts. In order to examine the environment of these newly forming vessels, actively growing blood vessels in neovascularized rabbit and guinea pig corneas were examined immunohistochemically using antibodies against laminin, type IV collagen, heparan sulfate proteoglycans, entactin, and factor VIII-related antigen. Sequential serial 5-microns sections taken from the unfixed frozen corneas in a plane perpendicular to the direction of vessel growth were stained with these antibodies. It was possible to follow well-defined lumenized vessels out through sequential sections to the point where they became single factor VII-R positive cells in the region of the capillary sprout. Examination of these stained sections has shown the presence of four important basement membrane components--laminin, type IV collagen, heparan sulfate proteoglycan, and entactin--associated with actively migrating and invading capillary sprouts. These results suggest that the extracellular matrix of the actively invading capillary sprouts does not differ qualitatively from that of the established vasculature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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