Expression of embryonic fibronectin isoform EIIIA parallels α-smooth muscle actin in maturing and diseased kidney

Veronique L. Barnes, John Musa, Ronda J. Mitchell, Jeffrey L. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In this study we examined if an association exists between expression of an alternatively spliced 'embryonic' fibronectin isoform EIIIA (Fn-EIIIA) and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in the maturing and adult rat kidney and in two unrelated models of glomerular disease, passive accelerated anti- glomerular basement membrane (GBM) nephritis and Habu venom (HV)-induced proliferative glomerulonephritis, using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Fn-EIIIA and α-SMA proteins were abundantly expressed in mesangium and in periglomerular and peritubular interstitium of 20-day embryonic and 7-day (D-7) postnatal kidneys in regions of tubule and glomerular development. Staining was markedly reduced in these structures in maturing juvenile (D-14) kidney and was largely lost in adult kidney. Expression of Fn-EIIIA and α-SMA was reinitiated in the mesangium and the periglomerular and peritubular interstitium in both models and was also observed in glomerular crescents in anti-GBM nephritis. Increased expression of Fn-EIIIA mRNA by in situ hybridization corresponded to the localization of protein staining. Dual labeling experiments verified co-localization of Fn- EIIIA and α-SMA, showing a strong correlation of staining between location and staining intensity during kidney development, maturation, and disease. Expression of EIIIA mRNA corresponded to protein expression in developing and diseased kidneys and was lost in adult kidney. These studies show a recapitulation of the co-expression of Fn-EIIIA and α-SMA in anti-GBM disease and suggest a functional link for these two proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-797
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Alternative splicing
  • Fibronectin
  • Fibrosis
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Interstitial nephritis
  • Mesangium
  • Smooth muscle actin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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