Normalization of keratinocyte-type integrins during the establishment of the oral mucosa phenotype in vitro.

Annals of anatomy = Anatomischer Anzeiger : official organ of the Anatomische Gesellschaft

PubMedID: 10081576

Tomakidi P, Breitkreutz D, Kohl A, Komposch G. Normalization of keratinocyte-type integrins during the establishment of the oral mucosa phenotype in vitro. Ann Anat. 1999;181(1):127-32.
In stratified epithelia, integrins play a fundamental role in mediating basal cell attachment to a variety of extracellular matrix molecules. To assess whether keratinocyte-specific integrins are expressed in a similar way as in the normal situation also under in vivo related conditions, we processed oral mucosa equivalents consisting of keratinocytes and fibroblasts from non-cornified gingiva. In this model histomorphology, the expression of differentiation-specific keratins and keratinocyte-type integrins exhibited similarity to the tissue of origin. The stages of tissue normalization were assessed on frozen sections by indirect immunofluorescence. The initial activated stage (1 week) was characterized by (i) incomplete epithelial organization and a weak presence of the suprabasal mucosa type keratin K4, (ii) diffuse expression of the integrin chains beta 1 and alpha 6 and (iii) abundance of the wound healing-associated integrin alpha v throughout the whole epithelium. After 2 weeks, the increase in epithelial organization was characterized by (i) the presence of a basal and suprabasal cell compartment, (ii) extension of K4 in the suprabasal compartment, (iii) extended expression of the keratinocyte integrins beta 1 and alpha 6 and (iv) concentration of alpha v integrin underneath basal cells. Further normalization of tissue architecture was indicated by (i) a slight increase in K4 extension, (ii) appearance of keratinocyte integrins beta 1 and alpha 6 in basal and parabasal cells and (iii) interruption of the band-like alpha v integrin immunolocalization at the subepithelial site. The findings in the in vitro model system indicate that these oral mucosa equivalents exhibit similarities to the in vivo situation of non-cornified gingiva, thus rendering them a suitable model for the assessment of stages during epithelial reconstruction or in vivo relevant studies on material effects.