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The neuronal adhesion protein D2 in differentiating aggregates of brain cells.
Developmental Brain Research
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The D2-protein is a high molecular weight protein involved in interneuronal adhesion. The concentration of D2-protein was measured both in aggregates of fetal rat telencephalic cells cultured in a chemically defined medium and in developing forebrain. Both the concentration of the D2-protein and the degree of sialylation were changed in the cultures in parallel with the corresponding values obtained from postnatal forebrain. In the cultures the highest specific concentration of D2-protein was observed after 12 days in culture. This value was 2.7 times higher than the average value of adult rat forebrain. Antibodies to D2-protein have previously been shown to inhibit fasciculation of neuritic fibers extending from cultured explants of sympathetic ganglia. We investigated the effect of such antibodies on the differentiation of aggregating telencephalic cells. By adding surplus antibodies to the cultures from day 11 to day 16 we were able to decrease the specific concentration of D2-protein on the neurons by 53% measured at day 19. The decrease was not compensated fully even after further 10 days in the culture. Although the concentration of D2-protein was decreased during the period of synaptogenesis no change was found in the specific concentration of a marker of mature synapses, the D3-protein. Thus, in this culture system synaptogenesis could proceed to an unimpaired extent in the presence of a decreased concentration of a putatively involved adhesion molecule. However, the specific concentration of two markers of myelination, 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase and myelin basic protein, were both increased, suggesting an antibody-induced stimulation of myelination in the cultured aggregates.
Animals, Brain/cytology, Cell Adhesion, Cell Aggregation, Cell Differentiation, Cells, Cultured, Fetus, Myelin Sheath/physiology, Nerve Tissue Proteins/analysis, Nerve Tissue Proteins/physiology, Rats, Synapses/physiology
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