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J Neurosci Res. 1988 Oct-Dec;21(2-4):119-34.

Antigen recognized by monoclonal antibodies to mesencephalic neural crest and to ciliary ganglion neurons is involved in the high affinity choline uptake mechanism in these cells.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor.


High-affinity choline uptake mechanisms are among the characteristics of cholinergic neurons such as the ciliary and choroid subpopulations in the ciliary ganglion (Barald and Berg, 1979). We have produced three monoclonal antibodies (Mabs), two of which were made to 8-day embryonic chick ciliary ganglion (CG) neurons (CG-1, CG-4) (Barald, 1982) and one of which was made to cultured mesencephalic neural crest (NC) cells (CG-14) removed from the embryo 31 hr after incubation. We have shown that all three Mabs label a common 75 kD antigen present on the cell surface of both CG neurons and NC cells (Barald, 1988). Here we report that the CG-1 and CG-4 antibodies, used in the same ratios in which they are synergistically cytotoxic for both the CG and NC cells (Barald, 1988), and Mab CG-14 alone, have specific effects on the high-affinity choline uptake mechanism (HACU) of CG neurons and isolated antigen-positive NC cells in the absence of complement. CG-1 and CG-4 in ratios of 8/1 (the same ratios that are used to kill the CG and the NC subpopulation), but neither singly, inhibit the HACU of CG neurons by 40% and that of isolated antigen-positive NC cells by 75%. However, CG-14 alone, at 1 microgram/ml, inhibits the HACU of both CG neurons and isolated NC cells by 95%. None of the antibodies had an effect on numbers of ouabain binding sites (a measure of the Na+/K+ ATPase) or cell surface acetylcholinesterase (AChE) of CG neurons or NC cells isolated by "no-flow" fluorescence cytometry with a Meridian Instruments ACAS470 cytometer. CG or NC cells grown in the presence of the antibodies without complement grow and remain healthy for many weeks. They exhibit no difference in morphology, protein content, lactate dehydrogenase activity (LDH), or division time from untreated sister cultures. Therefore, the antigen recognized by all three Mabs may be involved in a high-affinity choline uptake mechanism, a common characteristic of cholinergic neurons. The Mabs themselves may possibly label some element of the high-affinity transporter or a proximal membrane component. This implies that such a high-affinity uptake mechanism is present in the subpopulation of NC cells at early times in development. If these cells in fact are destined to contribute to the avian CG, these characteristics are present in the subpopulation before the NC cells take on a neuronal morphology.

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