The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 33: 81 - 89 (1989)

Vol 33, Issue 1

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in Finland

Basement membrane matrices in mouse embryogenesis, teratocarcinoma differentiation and in neuromuscular maturation

Published: 30 November -0001

I Leivo and J Wartiovaara

Department of Pathology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


In this paper we discuss studies on basement membrane and interstitial matrix molecules in early development and teratocarcinoma differentiation. In the early embryo a compartmentalization of newly formed cell types takes place immediately by formation of basement membranes. The stage-specific developmental appearance of extracellular matrix molecules such as type IV collagen, laminin, entactin, fibronectin and proteoglycans seems to reflect a diversified role of extracellular matrices already in the earliest stages of development. In teratocarcinoma cultures the appearance and composition of extracellular matrices during the differentiation of endoderm cells closely resembles that found in the early embryo. Also in this respect the teratocarcinoma system can be used as a model for studies on early development. In later developmental phenomena other matrix molecules can also be of importance. Merosin, a novel tissue-specific basement membrane-associated protein that appears during muscle and nerve maturation is an example of such molecules.

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