Immunohistochemical study of type III collagen expression during pre and post-natal rat skin morphogenesis

Document Type: Original Article


1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Objective(s):Skin extracellular matrix, which contains type I and type III collagens, is involved in skin development. The aim of this study was to investigate type III collagen distribution pattern as well as its changes during pre and post-natal skin morphogenesis in rats.
Materials and Methods: Ventral skins of Wistar rat embryos at different stages from 10 to 20 gestational day (E10-E20) and also one month and one year post natal rat pups were fixed in normalin, embedded in paraffin and 5 µm thick sections were incubated with Anti type III collagen antibody. In order to detect staining intensity, the reactions were observed and graded by three examiners separately. Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric statistical test and SPSS software version 11.5 were used to compare differences between samples.
Results: Immunoreactivity of type III collagen was distributed weakly in the mesenchymal connective tissue on day 10 (E10). The observed reaction was increased onE12 and E14. This reaction was clear in basement membrane, relatively intensive in dermal papillae and moderate in dermal reticularis on E14. This immunoreactivity pattern was increased afterward on E16, not changed on E18 and decreased in dermal reticularis on E20. The density of collagen type III in dermal papillae and dermal reticularis in skin of one year old rats were decreased comparing to one month old rats.
Conclusion: Our results showed that type III collagen is expressed and timely regulated during pre and post natal rat skin morphogenesis.


 1. Junqueira LC, Carneiro J. Basic Histology: Text & Atlas. 11th ed. McGraw-Hill Companies; 2005

 2. Ricard-Blum S, Ruggiero F. The collagen superfamily: from the extracellular matrix to the cell membrane. Pathol Biol 2005; 53:430-442.

3. Sansilvestri-Morel P, Rupin A, Badier-Commander C, eacute c, Kern P, Fabiani JN,et al. Imbalance in the synthesis of collagen type I and collagen type III in smooth muscle cells derived from human varicose veins. J Vasc Res 2001; 38:560-568.

4. Fleischmajer R, Perlish JS, Burgeson RE, Shaikh-Bahai F, Timpl R. Type I and Type III Collagen Interactions during Fibrillogenesisa. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1990; 580:161-175.

5. Niederreither K, D'Souza R, Metsaranta M, Eberspaecher H, Toman PD, Vuorio E,

et al. Coordinate patterns of expression of type I and III collagens during mouse development. Matrix Biol 1995; 14:705-713.

6. Chernoff EAG, Clarke DO, Wallace-Evers JL, Hungate-Muegge LP, Smith RC. The effects of collagen synthesis inhibitory drugs on somitogenesis and myogenin expression in cultured chick and mouse embryos. Tissue Cell 2001; 33:97-110.

7. Gerstenfeld LC, Crawford DR, Boedtker H, Doty P. Expression of type I and III collagen genes during differentiation of embryonic chicken myoblasts in culture. Mol Cell Biol 1984; 4:1483-1492.

8. Hwang KA, Yi BR, Choi KC. Molecular mechanisms and in vivo mouse models of skin aging associated with dermal matrix alterations. Lab Anim Res 2011; 27:1-8.

9. Varani J, Warner RL, Gharaee-Kermani M, Phan SH, Kang S, Chung J,et al. Vitamin A Antagonizes Decreased Cell Growth and Elevated Collagen-Degrading Matrix Metalloproteinases and Stimulates Collagen Accumulation in Naturally Aged Human Skin1. J Invest Dermatol 2000; 114:480-486.

10. Cicchi R, Kapsokalyvas D, De Giorgi V, Maio V, Van Wiechen A, Massi D,et al. Scoring of collagen organization in healthy and diseased human dermis by multiphoton microscopy. J Biophotonics 2010; 3:34-43.

11. Sumino H, Ichikawa S, Abe M, Endo Y, Nakajima Y, Minegishi T,et al. Effects of aging and postmenopausal hypoestrogenism on skin elasticity and bone mineral density in Japanese women. Endocr J 2004; 51:159-164.

12. Rajabzadeh A, Ebrahimzadeh bideskan A.R, Fazel A, Sankian M, Rafatpanah H, Haghir H. The effect of PTZ-induced epileptic seizures on hippocampal expression of PSA-NCAM in offspring born to kindled rats. J Biomed Sci 2012; 19:1-9.

13. Ebrahimzadeh bideskan AR, Hassanzadeh Taheri MM, Nikravesh MR, Fazel AR. Lectin histochemical study of vasculogenesis during rat pituitary morphogenesis. Iran J Basic Med Sci 2011; 14:161-169.

14. Betz P, Nerlichb A, Wilske J, Tiibel J, Penning R, Eisenmenger W. The immunohistochemical analysis of fibronectin, collagen type III, laminin, and cytokeratin 5 in putrified skin. Forensic Sci Int 1993; 61: 35-42.

15. Kierszenbaum AL. Histology and cell biology: an introduction to pathology. 1st ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Health Sciences; 2002.

16. Smith LT, Holbrook KA, Madri JA. Collagen types I, III and V in human embryonic and fetal skin. Am J Anat 1986; 175:507-521.

17. Shuttleworth CA, Forrest L. Changes in Guinea-Pig dermal collagen during development. Eur J Biochem 1975; 55:391-395.

18. Wehrli NE, Bural G, Houseni M, Alkhawaldeh K, Alavi A, Torigian DA. Determination of age-related changes in structure and function of skin, adipose tissue, and skeletal muscle with computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography. Semin Nucl Med 2007; 37:195-205.

19. Chappard D, Alexandre C, Robert JM, Riffat G. Relationships between bone and skin atrophies during aging. Acta Anat 1991; 141:239-244