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Cremer, Marion and Treiss, I. and Cremer, Thomas and Hager, D. and Franke, W. W. (1981): Characterization of cells of amniotic fluids by immunological identification of intermediate-sized filaments: Presence of cells of different tissue origin. In: Human Genetics, Vol. 59, No. 4: pp. 373-379




Antibodies against intermediate-sized filaments, of the prekeratin or vimentin type, were used to investigate the presence of these filaments by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy in cultured and non-cultured amniotic fluid cells, in frozen sections of the placenta and in isolated cells of the amniotic epithelium. Two major classes of cells can be cultured from amniotic fluids, namely cells of epithelial origin containing filaments of the prekeratin type and cells of different origin which contain filaments of the vimentin type but are negative when tested with antibodies to epidermal prekeratin. The presence of prekeratin type filaments correlates with the morphology of colonies of amniotic fluid cell cultures in vitro as classified by Hoehn et al. (1974). Cells of E-type colonies are shown to be of epithelial origin. In contrast our data indicate a different origin of almost all cells of F-type colonies and of the large majority of cells of AF-type colonies. Cells of epithelial origin and positively stained with antibodies to epidermal prekeratin are occasionally scattered in F-type colonies and in variable percentages (up to 30%) in AF-type colonies. Surprisingly, cryostat sections of the amniotic epithelium and isolated groups of amniotic cells showed positive reactions with both antibodies to vimentin and prekeratin. The possibility that amniotic cells may be different from other epithelial cells in that they contain both types of filaments simultaneously already in situ is presently under investigation.