, Volume 33, Issue 9-10, pp 523-530

Nidogen-1 and Nidogen-2 are Found in Basement Membranes During Human Embryonic Development

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The recently identified nidogen-2 is a matrix protein showing homology to the well-known basement membrane molecule nidogen-1. Nidogen-1 might well serve as a link between laminin-1 and collagen type IV and thus stabilise certain basement membranes in vivo and play a major role in embryogenesis. However, the exact tissue distribution of nidogen-1 and nidogen-2 during human embryogenesis is still unclear. As a first step towards the elucidation of their possible cell biological functions during human development, we compared the distribution of both nidogens during human organogenesis at the light microscope level. Nidogen-2 and nidogen-1 were found to be ubiquitous components of basement membrane zones underneath developing epithelia of most of the major organ systems. However, in the developing intestine and the pancreas anlage, only nidogen-1 was present in the epithelial basement membrane zones of all developmental stages investigated. Our data suggest that nidogen-2 and nidogen-1, as is known for mouse development, could well participate in cell biological functions during human development. These two proteins might well be able to fulfil identical functions during human organogenesis.