Extracellular Matrices, Cells, and Growth Factors

  • G. R. Martin
  • A. C. Sank
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 95 / 2)


The importance of cell-matrix interactions in development has been long recognized. The major functions of the matrix are to provide physical support to the tissues and to maintain cellular viability. Stability and homeostasis are achieved in this way. Extracellular matrices are structurally diverse but they vary in a tissue-specific fashion. Thus cartilage, tendon, bone, basement membranes, etc., contain different matrix proteins optimized for their individual functions and for their particular cells. Current concepts indicate that cells form a continuum with their matrix (Hay 1981), having specific receptors that bind to the various proteins that comprise the matrix. These contacts are instructive for the cells and influence their migration, morphology, growth, and differentiation. Such receptors also permit the cells to monitor the composition of the matrix and allow an autocrine regulation of matrix production.


Basement Membrane Phorbol Ester Matrix Molecule Extracellular Matrice Laminin Receptor 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. R. Martin
  • A. C. Sank

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