An immunocytochemical study was made on the palatal mesenchymal cells obtained from mouse embryos during palatal development with special reference to synthesis of types of collagen and fibronectin in vitro. Most cells showed positive staining with antibodies against the four proteins examined. The staining for type I collagen was most intense among the four proteins and was distributed perinuclearly. The staining for type III collagen was quite similar as that for type I collagen but less intense, whereas that for type V collagen was weak and its staining pattern was different from those for types I and III collagen in that the surface of the plasma membrane, in addition to the perinuclear cytoplasm, showed weak staining for type V collagen. Antibodies to fibronectin showed perinuclear and extracellular fibrous staining. These data suggest that palatal mesenchymal cells synthesize types I, III, and V collagen and fibronectin simultaneously.
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