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Ciba Found Symp. 1984;108:179-96.

Remodelling of the basement membrane: morphogenesis and maturation.


We have analysed the reciprocal interactions between mouse embryo submandibular epithelium and mesenchyme which result in branching morphogenesis of the epithelium. The interactions modify the composition and metabolism of the basal and reticular laminae which comprise the basement membrane lying between these tissues. The mesenchyme remodels the basement membrane by depositing a type I collagen-rich matrix on the basal lamina and by producing a neutral hyaluronidase, which degrades hyaluronate and chondroitin sulphate, components of this basal lamina. By analogy with mouse mammary epithelial cells, the submandibular epithelial cells have a heparan sulphate-rich proteoglycan on their cell surfaces which is anchored to the cells. The extracellular domain of this integral membrane proteoglycan binds to interstitial collagen. Interfering with the collagen-proteoglycan interaction appears to reduce the morphological stability of the cells. Together with other processes, including epithelial cell proliferation, this remodelling leads to branching epithelial morphogenesis. Basement membrane remodelling may be a general process for regulating cell behaviour during development and is one of the mechanisms of morphogenetic tissue interaction. Remodelling may also cause maturation of basement membranes from a dynamic state of high turnover in the embryo to their persistence and stability in the adult organism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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