We have used immunohistochemical techniques to detect transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) in many tissues of adult and neonatal mice. Each of two antibodies raised to the amino-terminal 30 amino acids of TGF-beta 1 selectively stained this molecule in either intracellular or extracellular locations. Strong intracellular staining was found in adrenal cortex, megakaryocytes and other cells of the bone marrow, cardiac myocytes, chondrocytes, renal distal tubules, ovarian glandular cells, and chorionic cells of the placenta. Marked staining of extracellular matrix was found in cartilage, heart, pancreas, placenta, skin, and uterus. Staining was often particularly intense in specialized cells of a given tissue, suggesting unique roles for TGF-beta within that tissue. Levels of expression of mRNA for TGF-beta 1 and its histochemical staining did not necessarily correlate in a given tissue, as in the spleen. The present data lend further support to the concept that TGF-beta has an important role in controlling interactions between epithelia and surrounding mesenchyme.

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