Netrins, axon guidance cues in the CNS, have also been detected in epithelial tissues. In this study, using the embryonic pancreas as a model system, we show that Netrin-1 is expressed in a discrete population of epithelial cells, localizes to basal membranes, and specifically associates with elements of the extracellular matrix. We demonstrate that α6β4 integrin mediates pancreatic epithelial cell adhesion to Netrin-1, whereas recruitment of α6β4 and α3β1 regulate the migration of CK19+/PDX1+ putative pancreatic progenitors on Netrin-1. These results provide evidence for the activation of epithelial cell adhesion and migration by a neural chemoattractant, and identify Netrin-1/integrin interactions as adhesive/guidance cues for epithelial cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology