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Experientia. 1995 Sep 29;51(9-10):883-900.

Extracellular matrix components in intestinal development.

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INSERM U.381, Strasbourg, France.


Intestinal morphogenesis and differentiation are dependent on heterotypic cell interactions between embryonic epithelial cells (endoderm) and stromal cells (mesenchyme). Extracellular matrix molecules represent attractive candidates for regulators of these interactions. The structural and functional diversity of the extracellular matrix as intestinal development proceeds is demonstrated by 1) spatio-temporal specific expression of the classically described constituents, 2) the finding of laminin and collagen IV variants, 3) changes in the ratio of individual constituent chains, and 4) a stage-specific regulation of basement membrane molecule production, in particular by glucocorticoids. The orientation/assembly of these extracellular matrix molecules could direct precise cellular functions through interactions via integrin molecules. The involvement of extracellular matrix, and in particular basement membrane molecules in heterotypic cell interactions leading to epithelial cell differentiation, has been highlighted by the use of experimental models such as cocultures, hybrid intestines and antisense approaches. These models allowed us to conclude that a correct elaboration and assembly of the basement membrane, following close contacts between epithelial and fibroblastic cells, is necessary for the expression of differentiation markers such as digestive enzymes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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