The collagen produced by differentiated cells cultured from human amniotic fluid was characterized in two ways. By chain composition and by 4-hydroxyproline:3-hydroxyproline isomer ratio, the collagen synthesized by F-type (fibroblast) cells was indistinguishable from that made by cultured fetal dermal fibroblasts. The predominant cells in young amniotic fluid cultures, termed AF-type, produced collagen with a lower isomer ratio, resembling that of basement membrane collage. The chain composition, as determined by chromatography on carboxymethyl cellulose, varied for different cultures of the AF-type, but the major pattern was consistent with that of basement membrane collagen. On the basis of these characteristics, F cells are of fibroblast origin, whereas most AF cells are of a different origin either endothelial or epithelial. Other evidence (Megaw et al., 1977) suggests an epithelial origin for AF cells.
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