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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression and role of E- and P-cadherin adhesion molecules in embryonic histogenesis. I. Lung epithelial morphogenesis.

The role of Ca2+-dependent cell-cell adhesion molecules, E- and P-cadherins, in the histogenesis of mouse embryonic lung was studied. All epithelial cells of the lung express both E- and P-cadherin at the early developmental stage. P-cadherin, however, gradually disappears during development, initially from the main bronchi and eventually from all epithelial cells. When a monoclonal antibody to E-cadherin (ECCD-1) was added to monolayer cultures of lung epithelial cells, it induced a partial disruption of their cell-cell adhesion, while a monoclonal antibody to P-cadherin (PCD-1) showed a subtle effect. A mixture of the two antibodies, however, displayed a synergistic effect. We then tested the effect of the antibodies on the morphogenesis of lung primordia using an organ culture system. In control media, the explants formed typical bronchial trees. In the presence of ECCD-1, the explants grew up at the same rate as in the control, but their morphogenesis was affected. The control explants formed round epithelial lobules with an open luminal space at the tips of the bronchial trees, whereas the lobules of explants incubated with ECCD-1 tended to be flat and devoid of the luminal space. PCD-1 showed a similar but very small effect. A mixture of the two antibodies, however, showed a stronger effect: the branching of epithelia was partially suppressed and the arrangement of epithelial cells was distorted in many places. These results suggest that E- and P-cadherin have a synergistic role in the organization of epithelial cells in lung morphogenesis.[1]


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