Embryonic corneal epithelial interaction with exogenous laminin and basal lamina is F-actin dependent. Academic Article uri icon


  • Between the third and sixth day of embryonic development, the avian corneal epithelium produces both a basal lamina and the primary corneal stroma composed of 20 orthogonally arranged layers of collagen fibrils. If the epithelium is removed by enzyme treatment from the basal lamina and stroma, the basal cell surface extends cell processes (blebs) which contain disorganized actin filaments and the epithelium decreases production of collagen. When placed on extracellular matrix or on Millipore filters in media containing soluble matrix molecules, the epithelium retracts the blebs, forms an organized basal actin cortical mat, and doubles its production of collagen. In the current investigation, we provide evidence for the hypothesis that organization of the RER by the actin cytoskeleton mediates this stimulation of collagen production. Laminin-treated epithelia and epithelia isolated with the basal lamina intact were treated with an actin-disrupting drug, cytochalasin D. Actin aggregates occur throughout the epithelium, the RER becomes disorganized, and the increase in collagen production expected to result from addition of laminin does not take place. Morphometrical analysis of the distribution of RER in the basal compartment of control and cytochalasin-treated epithelia shows that the decrease in collagen production is accompanied by displacement of the RER from the basal area of the cells, suggesting that attachment of RER to the intact actin cytoskeleton is essential to maintenance of normal RER organization and function. We also found that laminin-mediated bleb retraction requires intact actin microfilaments, whereas bleb extension does not, and that nocodazole does not inhibit bleb extension or retraction.

published proceedings

  • Dev Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Svoboda, K. K., & Hay, E. D.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Svoboda, KK||Hay, ED

publication date

  • October 1987