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Dev Biol. 1985 Nov;112(1):100-14.

Responses of cultured neural retinal cells to substratum-bound laminin and other extracellular matrix molecules.


The responses of cultured chick embryo retinal neurons to several extracellular matrix molecules are described. Retinal cell suspensions in serum-free medium containing the "N1" supplement (J. E. Bottenstein, S. D. Skaper, S. Varon, and J. Sato, 1980, Exp. Cell Res. 125, 183-190) were seeded on tissue culture plastic surfaces pretreated with polyornithine (PORN) and with one of the factors to be tested. Substantial cell survival could be observed after 72 hr in vitro on PORN pretreated with serum or laminin, whereas most cells appeared to be degenerating on untreated PORN, PORN-fibronectin, and PORN-chondronectin. Cell attachment, although quantitatively similar for all these substrata, was temperature-dependent on serum and laminin but not on fibronectin or untreated PORN. In a short-term bioassay, neurite development was abundant on laminin, scarce on serum and fibronectin, and absent on PORN. No positive correlation between cell spreading and neurite production could be seen: cell spreading was more extensive on PORN and fibronectin than on laminin or serum, while on laminin-treated dishes, spreading was similar for neurite-bearing and non-neurite-bearing cells. Laminin effects on retinal neurons were clearly substratum dependent. When bound to tissue culture plastic, laminin showed a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on cell attachment and did not stimulate neurite development. PORN-bound laminin, on the other hand, did not affect cell attachment but caused marked stimulation of neurite development, suggesting that laminin conformation and/or the spatial distribution of active sites play an important role in the neurite-promoting function of this extracellular matrix molecule. Investigation of the embryonic retina with ELISA and immunocytochemical methods showed that laminin is present in this organ during development. Therefore, in vivo and in vitro observations are consistent with the possibility that laminin might influence neuronal development in the retina.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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