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Cell. 1984 Sep;38(2):597-607.

Embryonic lethal mutation in mouse collagen I gene causes rupture of blood vessels and is associated with erythropoietic and mesenchymal cell death.


The role of collagen I for midgestation development was studied in homozygous Mov 13 embryos, which cannot synthesize alpha 1(1) mRNA as a result of insertional mutagenesis and most of which die between day 12 and 14 of gestation. No type I collagen was detected in mutant embryos, while the distribution of other collagens, laminin, and fibronectin was not affected. Mutant embryos develop normally up to day 12 of gestation, suggesting that collagen I has no essential role in the early phase of morphogenesis. The first pathological events were detected in hemopoietic cells of the liver, followed by necroses of mesenchymal cells in other parts of the embryo. The sudden death is caused by the rupture of a major blood vessel, indicating an important role for collagen I in establishing the mechanical stability of the circulatory system. Our results furthermore suggest that complex cell interactions in embryonic development such as those in early hemopoiesis may depend on the presence of collagen type I.

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