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Distribution of fibronectin in the rectal mucosa.
  1. D L Scott,
  2. C J Morris,
  3. A E Blake,
  4. T S Low-Beer,
  5. K W Walton


    Fibronectin is a glycoprotein of high molecular weight present in tissues, plasma, and tissue fluids. Its distribution in the rectal mucosa was studied by immunofluorescent and immunoperoxidase techniques using a monospecific antiserum. Immunofluorescent reactivity for fibronectin was present in the normal rectal mucosa of control subjects in epithelial cells, on basement membranes, and as a loose cribriform network of extracellular reactivity in the lamina propria that codistributed with histochemically demonstrable reticulin. Fibronectin was demonstrated immunoelectromicroscopically on collagen fibres, on smooth muscle cells and within and between columnar epithelial cells. In the rectal mucosa of patients with colitis with marked inflammatory changes, fibronectin appeared thickened and more prominent when present on basement membranes and as sparse strands between inflammatory cells infiltrating the lamina propria. In patients with longstanding colitis and less inflammatory cell infiltration there was a diffuse increase in fibronectin which was densely and uniformly present throughout the lamina propria. Fibronectin is a structural component of the rectal mucosa and changes in its distribution may form an important part of the local reaction to inflammatory bowel disease.

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