Gangliosides support neural retina cell adhesion

C. C. Blackburn, P. Swank-Hill, R. L. Schnaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cell surface carbohydrates and complementary carbohydrate receptors may mediate cell-cell recognition during neuronal development. To model such interactions, we developed a technique to test the ability of cell surface lipids (particularly glycosphingolipids) to mediate specific cell recognition and adhesion (Blackburn, C.C., and Schnaar, R.L. (1983) J. Biol. Chem. 258, 1180-1188). When cells were incubated on plastic microwells absorbed with various glycolipids, carbohydrate-specific cell adhesion was readily detected. We report here the use of this method to study adhesion of embryonic chick neural retina cells to purified cell surface lipids. Rapid and specific cell adhesion was observed when the neural retina cells were incubated on surfaces adsorbed with gangliosides (an important class of neuronal cell surface glycoconjugates) but not on surfaces adsorbed with gangliosides (an important class of neuronal cell surface glycoconjugates) but not on surfaces adsorbed with various neutral glycosphingolipids, phospholipids, or sulfatide. This suggests that the observed cell adhesion was specific for the carbohydrate moiety of the adsorbed ganglioside and was not due to nonspecific ionic or hydrophobic interactions. Although the surface density of adsorbed lipid required to support cell adhesion was the same for all gangliosides examined, the extent of adhesion varied when different purified gangliosides were used. Ganglioside-specific adhesion was not dependent on the presence of calcium (at 37°C) and was attenuated by pretreatment of the cells with trypsin. The extent of ganglioside-directed neural retinal cell adhesion varied with embryonic age. These results imply that gangliosides may play a role in cell-cell recognition in the developing nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2873-2881
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume261
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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