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Pathol Res Pract. 1986 Oct;181(5):568-75.

Localization of collagen types I, III, IV and V, fibronectin and laminin in human arteries by the indirect immunofluorescence method.


The distribution of types I, III, IV and V collagen and of the glycoproteins fibronectin and laminin in sections of human aortas, arteries and atherosclerotic plaques were studied using monospecific antibodies and indirect fluorescence microscopy. Types IV and V collagen and laminin were present in a narrow zone, representing the basement membrane, apposed to the endothelial layers of all these tissues. Types I and III collagen and fibronectin were located in the interstitial spaces of the intima and the media of blood vessels walls, whereas types IV and V collagen and laminin were found in the basement membranes underlying smooth muscle cells in these areas. Two types of atherosclerotic plaques were observed. Lipid-rich plaques contained less collagen and reduced amounts of the glycoproteins. Fibrous plaques consisted of regions deficient in types I and III collagen and collagen-rich regions with elevated levels of these two collagens as well as more fibronectin. The collagen-rich regions of fibrous plaques contained, however, little type IV and type V collagen and little of the glycoproteins laminin and fibronectin. This may be due to the reduced number of cells involved in the biosynthesis of these basement membrane proteins.

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