A scar-like lesion is apparent in basement membrane after wound repair in vivo

Publication date: Available online 5 July 2018
Source:Matrix Biology
Author(s): William Ramos-Lewis, Kimberly S. LaFever, Andrea Page-McCaw
Basement membrane is a highly conserved sheet-like extracellular matrix in animals, underlying simple and complex epithelia, and wrapping around tissues like muscles and nerves. Like the tissues they support, basement membranes become damaged by environmental insults. Although it is clear that basement membranes are repaired after damage, virtually nothing is known about this process. For example, it is not known how repaired basement membranes compare to undamaged ones, whether basement membrane components are necessary for epithelial wound closure, or whether there is a hierarchy of assembly that repairing basement membranes follow, similar to the hierarchy of assembly of embryonic basement membranes. In this report, we address these questions using the basement membrane of the Drosophila larval epidermis as a model system. By analyzing the four main basement membrane proteins – laminin, collagen IV, perlecan, and nidogen – we find that although basement membranes are repaired within a day after mechanical damage in vivo, thickened and disorganized matrix scars are evident with all four protein components. The new matrix proteins that repair damaged basement membranes are provided by distant adipose and muscle tissues rather than by the local epithelium, the same distant tissues that provide matrix proteins for growth of unwounded basement membranes. To identify a hierarchy of repair, we tested the dependency of each of the basement membrane proteins on the others for incorporation after damage. For proper incorporation after damage, nidogen requires laminin, and perlecan requires collagen IV, but surprisingly collagen IV does not to depend on laminin. Thus, the rules of basement membrane repair are subtly different than those for de novo assembly.