Russian Journal of Developmental Biology

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 306–310 | Cite as

Cytoskeletal Mechanisms of the Formation of Heterocellular Contacts

  • E. K. Fetisova
  • O. Yu. Ivanova
  • T. Omelchenko
  • Ju. M. Vasiliev


We studied the interaction of two main cell types, epitheliocytes and fibroblasts, in a mixed culture. Heterotypic cells had a different cytoskeleton organization and expressed different cell adhesion molecules, cadherins. In spite of this, when the cells contacted in the mixed cultures, a heterophilic contact was formed and the actin cytoskeleton of an epitheliocyte at the site of contact was reorganized: the marginal actin bundle was decomposed and actin structures were formed in its place, that were typical for the fibroblast lamella. No changes were observed in the actin organization of the fibroblast. In architecture, the heterophilic adhesion contacts resembled the contacts between fibroblasts. Both heterophilic and homophilic contacts were transient, rather than constant structures. The formation of heterophilic contacts in mixed cultures can serve as a model of formation of a tissue system consisting of epithelium and mesenchyme.

cell-to-cell adhesion cadherins catenins actin cytoskeleton heterotypic cell culture epithelium fibroblasts 


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© MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica” 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. K. Fetisova
    • 1
  • O. Yu. Ivanova
    • 1
  • T. Omelchenko
    • 2
  • Ju. M. Vasiliev
    • 1
  1. 1.Belozersky Research Institute of Physicochemical BiologyMoscow State UniversityVorob'evy gory, MoscowRussia
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesRatger UniversityNew YorkUSA

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