Expression and adhesive properties of basement membrane proteins in cerebral capillary endothelial cell cultures
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Previous studies have indicated the importance of basement membrane components both for cellular differentiation in general and for the barrier properties of cerebral microvascular endothelial cells in particular. Therefore, we have examined the expression of basement membrane proteins in primary capillary endothelial cell cultures from adult porcine brain. By indirect immunofluorescence, we could detect type IV collagen, fibronectin, and laminin both in vivo (basal lamina of cerebral capillaries) and in vitro (primary culture of cerebral capillary endothelial cells). In culture, these proteins were secreted at the subcellular matrix. Moreover, the interaction between basement membrane constituents and cerebral capillary endothelial cells was studied in adhesion assays. Type IV collagen, fibronectin, and laminin proved to be good adhesive substrata for these cells. Although the number of adherent cells did not differ significantly between the individual proteins, spreading on fibronectin was more pronounced than on type IV collagen or laminin. Our results suggest that type IV collagen, fibronectin, and laminin are not only major components of the cerebral microvascular basal lamina, but also assemble into a protein network, which resembles basement membrane, in cerebral capillary endothelial cell cultures.
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