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EMBO J. 1984 Jan;3(1):1-10.

Immunocytological and biochemical characterization of a new neuronal cell surface component (L1 antigen) which is involved in cell adhesion.


Monoclonal and polyclonal L1 antibodies react by indirect immunofluorescence with the cell surface of cultured tetanus toxin-positive neurons from post-natal cerebella of mice, but not with glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes, O4 antigen-positive oligodendrocytes or fibronectin-positive fibroblasts or fibroblast-like cells. During cerebellar development L1 antigen is detectable on tetanus toxin-positive cells as early as embryonic day 13 after 3 days in culture. In sections of the early post-natal cerebellum, L1 antigen is found on pre-migratory neurons in the internal, but not in the external part of the external granular layer. In the adult cerebellum, L1 antigen is predominantly localized in the molecular layer and around Purkinje cells. Fibers in white matter and the granular layer are also L1 antigen-positive. Granule cell bodies and synaptic glomeruli are weakly antigen-positive. Several cell lines derived from neuroblastoma C1300 also express L1 antigen. The antigen is not detectable by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in tissue homogenates of liver, kidney, lung, heart, sperm or thymus. With polyclonal L1 antibodies, cross-reactive determinants are found in brains of rat, guinea pig, hamster, chicken, rabbit and man, but not in frog, while monoclonal antibody reacts detectably only with mouse brain. The molecular species recognized by both monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies display two prominent bands by SDS-PAGE under reducing and non-reducing conditions with apparent mol. wts. of 140 and 200 kd. L1 antigen isolated from cultured cerebellar cells consists mainly of a band in the 200-kd range and a faint one at 140 kd. L1 antigen from neuroblastoma N2A shows two bands with slightly higher apparent mol. wts. All molecular forms of L1 antigen can be labeled by [3H]fucose and [3H]glucosamine. Ca2+-independent re-aggregation of cerebellar cells from early post-natal C57BL/6J mice and of the continuous cell line N2A derived from the murine neuroblastoma C1300 is inhibited by Fab fragments of the polyclonal, but not of monoclonal antibody, both of which are known to react with the surface membrane of these cells.

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