Immunohistochemical Localization of Collagen Type XI α1 and α2 Chains in Human Colon Tissue

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In previous studies, collagen XI mRNA has been detected in colon cancer, but its location in human colon tissue has not been determined. The heterotrimeric collagen XI consists of three a chains. While it is known that collagen XI plays a regulatory role in collagen fibril formation, its function in the colon is unknown. The characterization of normal human colon tissue will allow a better understanding of the variance of collagen XI in abnormal tissues. Grossly normal and malignant human colon tissue was obtained from pathology archives. Immunohistochemical staining with a 58K Golgi marker and α1(XI) and α2(XI) antisera was used to specifically locate their presence in normal colon tissue. A comparative bright field microscopic analysis showed the presence of collagen XI in human colon. The juxtanuclear, dot-like collagen XI staining in the Golgi apparatus of goblet cells in normal tissue paralleled the staining of the 58K Golgi marker. Ultra light microscopy verified these results. Staining was also confirmed in malignant colon tissue. This study is the first to show that collagen XI is present in the Golgi apparatus of normal human colon goblet cells and localizes collagen XI in both normal and malignant tissue. Although the function of collagen XI in the colon is unknown, our immunohistochemical characterization provides the foundation for future immunohistopathology studies of the colon.