Cells obtained by amniocentesis for prenatal diagnosis were grown in vitro and examined for the presence of a glycoprotein component epithelial basement membrane. Isolated colonies or clones of amniotic fluid-type cells secrete the glycoprotein, which was identified in association with the cells using indirect immunofluorescent antibody techniques. In addition, the glycoprotein was isolated from tissue culture medium and identified as a component of epithelial basement membranes by passive haemagglutination (PHA) and immunodiffusion assays. Fibroblast-type cells do not secrete the glycoprotein. These results correlate well with the synthesis of type IV collagen by amniotic fluid cells reported in the accompanying paper (Priest et al., 1977) and indicate that amniotic fluid cells are epithelial in origin.
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