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Dev Biol 1995 Feb 01;1672:458-68. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1995.1041.
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Former neuritic pathways containing endogenous neural agrin have high synaptogenic activity.

Cohen MW , Moody-Corbett F , Godfrey EW .

When Xenopus spinal cord (SC) neurons are grown on an appropriate substrate of basal lamina molecules, the agrin they externalize along their neuritic outgrowth remains bound to the substrate even after the neurons are removed. Here we demonstrate that these former neuritic pathways containing substrate-bound, neural agrin cause an accumulation of acetylcholine receptors (AChR) and cholinesterase (ChE) at sites of contact with muscle cells and inhibit AChR aggregation over the rest of the muscle cell surface. These local and global synaptogenic effects were not triggered by former neuritic pathways that were agrin-negative. The length of AChR accumulation along the agrin pathways contacted by individual muscle cells corresponded to a saturation process, in agreement with the notion that muscle cells have a limited capacity to cluster AChR. The AChR accumulation caused by the agrin pathways was almost twice as extensive as that induced by living neurites. It is concluded that agrin and possibly other synaptogenic molecules externalized by competent SC neurons bind to the culture substrate in quantities which are more than sufficient to account fully for the local and global changes in AChR and ChE distribution associated with embryonic nerve-muscle synaptogenesis.

PubMed ID: 7875371
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ache agrn chrna1 chrnb1 chrne drg1 tnni3
GO keywords: synapse assembly
Antibodies: Agrn Ab1 Agrn Ab2 Agrn Ab3 Fluoro-BT Ab

Article Images: [+] show captions