Immunohistochemical distribution of laminin γ 2 chain, a subunit of the basement membrane protein laminin-5, was examined in 19 cases of human embryos and foetuses ranging from 4 to 25 weeks of gestation. Laminin γ 2 was first detected in the basement membranes underlying ectodermal epithelial tissues, such as the skin and tooth, as early as 5–6 weeks of gestation. Between 6–7 and 12–13 weeks, laminin γ 2 was detected in the basement membranes of various endodermal epithelial tissues, such as the bronchus, oesophagus, stomach, intestines, urinary bladder, gallbladder and hepatopancreatic duct. The deposition of laminin γ 2 in basement membrane was associated with the process of morphogenesis. In the small intestine, laminin γ 2 first appeared in the basement membrane of the primitive short villi, and its level gradually increased in the villus region but decreased in the cryptic region during the maturation of the organ. In addition, non-basement membrane immunoreactivity for laminin γ 2 was detected in some mesoderm-derived tissues, such as the cartilage and skeletal and smooth muscle fibres. These results suggest a common role of laminin-5 and some specific roles of its γ 2 chain in the morphogenesis of human tissues.
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Lu, W., Miyazaki, K., Mizushima, H. et al. Immunohistochemical Distribution of Laminin-5 γ 2 Chain and its Developmental Change in Human Embryonic and Foetal Tissues. Histochem J 33, 629–637 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016350316926