Differential Location of Different Types of Intermediate-Sized Filaments in Various Tissues of the Chicken Embryo

ERIKA SCHMID, WERNER W. FRANKE, JAMES CROOP, STEVEN A. FELLIN, HOWARD HOLTZER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations

Abstract

The location of constitutive proteins of different types of intermediate-sized (about 10 mm) filaments (cytokeratin, vimentin, desmin, brain filament protein) was examined in various tissues of 11–20 day chick embryos, using specific antibodies against the isolated proteins and immunofluorescence microscopy on frozen sections and on isolated serous membrane. The tissues studied which contained epithelia were small intestine, gizzard, esophagus, crop, liver, kidney, thymus, mesenteries, and epidermis. The results show that the different intermediate filament proteins, as seen in the same organ, are characteristic of specific lines of differentiation: Cytokeratin filaments are restricted to – and specific for – epithelial cells; vimentin filaments are seen – at this stage of embryogenesis – only in mesenchymal cells, including connective tissue, endothelial and blood cells, and chondrocytes; filaments containing protein(s) related to the subunit protein prepared from gizzard 10 nm filaments (i.e., desmin) are significant only in muscle cells; and intermediate filament protein of brain, most probably neurofilament protein, is present only in nerve cells. We conclude that for most tissues the expression of filaments of cytokeratin, vimentin, desmin, and neurofilament protein is mutually exclusive, and that these protein structures provide useful markers for histochemical and cytochemical differentiation of cells of epithelial, mesenchymal, myogenic, and neurogenic differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages14
JournalDifferentiation
Volume15
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research

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