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The alpha 6 and beta 4 integrin subunits are expressed by smooth muscle cells of human small vessels: a new localization in mesenchymal cells

Cremona, O.
Savoia, P.
Marchisio, P. C.
Published in Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry. 1994, vol. 42, no. 9, p. 1221-1228
Abstract The alpha 6 beta 4 integrin complex is generally thought to be expressed by epithelial cells, where it is localized in specific adhesion structures, the hemidesmosomes. Recent observations have suggested a new localization of the beta 4 integrin chain in small vessels, possibly in endothelial cells, i.e., in cells of mesenchymal origin. In the present study we show that (a) the alpha 6 and beta 4 integrin chains are not expressed by endothelial cells, since they are not localized in von Willebrand factor-producing cells; (b) instead, smooth muscle cells of small vessels are intensely positive to antibodies to both alpha 6 and beta 4 intergrin chains; and (c) in some restricted regions of these smooth muscle cells there is a clear colocalization between alpha-smooth muscle actin and alpha 6 and beta 4 integrin chains, suggesting that a new type of cytoskeletal linkage for the alpha 6 beta 4 integrin complex may occur in mesenchyme-derived cells. Our observations are supported by confocal laser microscopy (CLSM) images of specimens labeled by double immunofluorescence. This technical choice was made to take advantage of the higher resolution offered by CLSM in comparison with conventional immunofluorescence. A careful selection of barrier filters was necessary to separate accurately emission and excitation spectra of the fluorochromes used in this study, resulting in an efficient colocalization analysis.
Keywords Actins/analysisAntigens, Surface/ analysis/metabolism/physiologyBlood Vessels/ chemistry/ cytologyCytoskeleton/metabolismDesmosomes/chemistryFluorescent Antibody TechniqueHumansImmunohistochemistryIntegrin alpha6beta4Integrins/ analysis/metabolism/physiologyLaminin/analysisMesoderm/ chemistry/ cytologyMuscle, Smooth, Vascular/ chemistry/ cytology
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Other version: http://www.jhc.org/cgi/reprint/42/9/1221.pdf
PMID: 8064129
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