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Dev Biol. 1989 Oct;135(2):231-40.

An aberrant retinal pathway and visual centers in Xenopus tadpoles share a common cell surface molecule, A5 antigen.

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Department of Anatomy, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.


A monoclonal antibody A5 (MAb-A5), which was raised against Xenopus tadpole tectal cells, recognizes a cell surface-related protein molecule (A5 antigen) expressed on the visual centers of Xenopus tadpoles (S. Takagi, T. Tsuji, T. Amagai, T. Takamatsu, and H. Fujisawa, 1987, Dev. Biol. 122, 90-100). The present immunohistochemistry using MAb-A5 indicated that, in addition to the visual centers, A5 antigen was expressed on the general somatic sensory tract in the medulla and spinal cord of Xenopus tadpoles. As the general somatic sensory tract has been shown to be a pathway for ectopically transplanted retinal axons (M. Constantine-Paton and R. R. Capranica, 1976, J. Comp. Neurol. 170, 17-32; M. J. Katz and R. J. Lasek, 1979, J. Comp. Neurol. 183, 817-832), we examined whether retinal axons transplanted close to the spinal cord or medulla preferentially grow into the A5 antigen-positive general somatic sensory tract. We performed eye transplantation at embryonic stages and detected precise locations and trajectories of transplanted retinal axons within the medulla and spinal cord in tadpoles after filling retinal axons with horseradish peroxidase (HRP). HRP histochemistry in combination with MAb-A5 immunohistochemistry indicated that almost all HRP-filled transplanted retinal axons joined the A5 antigen-positive general somatic sensory tract. These findings suggest the involvement of A5 antigen in specific cell-cell recognition between retinal axons and their targets.

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