Entactin is a recently described sulfated glycoprotein component of mouse endodermal cell-derived extracellular matrix and is present in a number of basement membranes. It has been ultrastructurally localized to both lamina densa and adjacent epithelial cell membranes in rodent kidney. In the present study, we have sought to determine the localization of entactin in mouse skin. Indirect immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy (the latter via immunoperoxidase technique) were performed on both intact and NaCl-separated mouse skin, using a well-characterized IgG class entactin-specific rat x mouse monoclonal antibody. At the light microscopic level, entactin was present in all skin basement membranes. On NaCl-split skin, staining was noted solely on the dermal portion. At the electron microscopic level, in intact skin, entactin was primarily localized to the lamina densa and adjacent upper papillary dermis. However, smaller amounts of immunoreaction products were also detectable within the lamina lucida and in close apposition to overlying hemidesmosomes. In partially separated skin, immunoreactants were similarly noted above the level of the lamina densa. However, in completely separated areas, hemidesmosomal or cell membrane staining was no longer visible. We conclude that entactin is an ubiquitous component of mouse skin basement membranes. Similar to previous findings in rodent kidney, entactin is present in multiple regions of skin basement membrane, although its primary localization remains within and directly beneath the lamina densa.
Keywords: Animals; Basement Membrane; Fluorescent Antibody Technique; Glycoproteins; Immunohistochemistry; Membrane Glycoproteins; Mice; Mice, Inbred BALB C; Microscopy, Electron; Skin