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Int Rev Cytol. 1997;173:73-156.

Basement-membrane stromal relationships: interactions between collagen fibrils and the lamina densa.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan.


Collagens, the most abundant molecules in the extracellular space, predominantly form either fibrillar or sheet-like structures-the two major supramolecular conformations that maintain tissue integrity. In connective tissues, other than cartilage, collagen fibrils are mainly composed of collagens I, III, and V at different molecular ratios, exhibiting a D-periodic banding pattern, with diameters ranging from 30 to 150 nm, that can form a coarse network in the extracellular matrix in comparison with a fine meshwork of lamina densa. The lamina densa represents a stable sheet-like meshwork composed of collagen IV, laminin, nidogen, and perlecan compartmentalizing tissue from one another. We hypothesize that the interactions between collagen fibrils and the lamina densa are crucial for maintaining tissue-tissue interactions. A detailed analysis of these interactions forms the basis of this review article. Here, we demonstrate that there is a direct connection between collagen fibrils and the lamina densa and propose that collagen V may play a crucial role in this connection. Collagen V might also be involved in regulation of collagen fibril diameter and anchoring of epithelia to underlying connective tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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