Isolation, characterization, and localization of cardiac collagen type VI. Associations with other extracellular matrix components.
We have isolated and characterized collagen type VI from murine, canine, and nonhuman primate hearts. In the three species studied, collagen type I was the major collagenous component of the cardiac interstitium (80% of total collagen), whereas collagen type VI represented approximately 5% of total collagen. To define the exact distribution of collagen type VI and its possible interactions with other components of the cardiac extracellular matrix, collagen types I, III, IV, and VI, laminin, and fibronectin were localized in the rat myocardium by immunohistochemistry, using monospecific antibodies. In the rat myocardium, collagen type VI was prevalent in the media and adventitia of muscular arteries, in fine connective tissue septa, in the area surrounding capillaries, and in the delicate endomysium in proximity to myocardial cells. When compared with the immunohistochemical localization of collagen types I, III, and IV, laminin, and fibronectin, the continuity and hierarchical organization of the cardiac extracellular matrix became apparent. The matrix forms a continuous network extending from the pericardium to the endocardium. Furthermore, there is an arborescent hierarchy in the system such that collagen type I is more prevalent in the wider septa, collagen type III being more obvious in medium-sized branches, and fibronectin and collagen type VI prevailing in the terminal (pericellular) aspects of the network. In this pericellular location, fibronectin and collagen type VI, by means of specific interactions, may act as anchor components linking the myocardial cell basement membranes not only to the extracellular matrix but also to the cardiac interstitial cells. This continuity, organization, and coupling of the cardiac extracellular matrix appears well suited to integrate and distribute the physical stress generated by the continuous contraction and relaxation of the myocardium.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association