Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The presence and localization of fibronectin in normal and mechanically injured aorta in rabbits was studied using an indirect immunoperoxidase technique on tissue specimens fixed in formaldehyde, embedded in paraffin and pretreated with pepsin. The effect on staining quality of treatment with testicular hyaluronidase prior to immunoperoxidase staining was also examined. In the intima from normal aorta fibronectin was present in the subendothelial basal layer, along the internal and external elastic laminae, around and between the smooth muscle cells of the media and along the collagen and elastic fibres in the adventitia. Sixteen days after a single mechanical dilatation of the descending thoracic aorta all animals developed gross atherosclerotic-like changes. Microscopic examination revealed prominent neo-intimal hyperplasia with subendothelial, cushion-like thickenings but no medial or adventitial alterations. Fibronectin, in increased amounts, was found between and around the endothelial cells and in the subendothelial thickenings between the proliferating smooth muscle cells in relation to the fine, thin elastic and argyrophilic fibres. In the media and adventitia the amount and distribution of fibronectin was indistinguishable from uninjured control aortas. Treatment with testicular hyaluronidase before immunoperoxidase staining resulted in a higher staining resolution in normal and injured aorta. The conspicuous observation in the present study is that fibronectin exclusively accumulates in areas of tissue repair. The origins and functions of fibronectin during tissue injury and repair are discussed.
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