RECENT STUDIES ON THE STRUCTURE AND PATHOLOGY OF BASEMENT MEMBRANES DALE R. ABRAHAMSON Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University o Alabama at Birmingham, University Station, Birmingham, f A L 35294 U.S.A. Received 10 April 1986 Accepted 14 April 1986 INTRODUCTION Basement membranes are unique, widespread elements of extracellular matrix that are directly involved in a number of critically important biological processes. They represent an extracellular scaffold that is necessary for the orderly development of distinct tissue patterns.â Accordingly, sheets of differentiating cells, as well as individual ones, utilize basement membranes as migratory substrates and, contained within the matrix, are positional information and other developmental signal^.^ - 6 These functions also apply during wound healing, tissue regeneration and repair.â Secondly, basement membranes spatially orient attached cells, such as polarized epithelia, perhaps organizing their cytoskeletal networks and affecting other internal proper tie^.^.^ Finally basement membranes serve as structural boundaries between epithelial, muscle, peripheral nervous tissue, and the connective tissue, respectively. In this capacity, they also possess important barrier properties that influence the exchange of macromolecules and cells across tissues. Despite intensive study, however, the molecular content and architecture of basement membranes are still not fully understood. Due to the
The Journal of Pathology – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 1986
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