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Differentiation. 1990 Jun;43(3):175-82.

Structural and compositional analysis of early stages in microvillus assembly in the enterocyte of the chick embryo.

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Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511.


Morphological and immunocytochemical techniques were used to examine the distribution of villin, with respect to actin, during the early events of brush border morphogenesis in the embryonic chicken intestine. Immunolocalization studies indicate that actin and villin exist as a cortical array in the apical domain of embryonic enterocytes at a time when few surface microvilli are visible by scanning and transmission electron microscopic techniques. A population of villin is also localized at the level of the junctional complex. With time, the density of microvilli increases and the cells begin to flatten. In these cells, villin is detected in the newly formed microvilli and also in the subjacent cortex, where microvillar rootlets are beginning to appear. The significance of actin-villin associations in the process of brush border assembly is discussed in the light of the functional properties of villin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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