Effects of antibodies to neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) on the differentiation of neuromuscular contacts between ciliary ganglion neurons and myotubes in vitro

John L. Bixby, Louis F. Reichardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous experiments have suggested that the neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) may have a role in initial nerve-muscle adhesion. To determine whether N-CAM might be involved in synaptic differentiation, we grew ciliary ganglion neurons and embryonic myotubes together in the presence and absence of monovalent antibodies to N-CAM. In normal cultures, undifferentiated neurites contact myotubes, and the nerve at some of these neurite-myotube contacts acquires concentrations of synaptic vesicle antigens. Most of these vesicle antigen-positive contacts become associated with patches of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) on the surface of the underlying myotube. Contacts without concentrations of vesicle antigens do not become associated with AChR patches. In the presence of antibodies to N-CAM, adhesion between neuronal somata and myotubes was reduced, but neurites contacted myotubes with near-normal frequency. The subsequent differentiation of nerve and muscle at these contacts, as assayed by the localization of vesicle antigens and AChR, proceeded normally in the presence of anti-N-CAM antibodies. The results suggest that N-CAM-mediated adhesion between neurite and myotube is not required for synaptic differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-372
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume119
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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