Neurite extension by peripheral and central nervous system neurons in response to substratum-bound fibronectin and laminin

Sherry L. Rogers, Paul C. Letourneau, Sally L. Palm, James McCarthy, Leo T. Furcht

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Dissociated neurons from embryonic chick dorsal root and sympathetic ganglia (peripheral neurons) and from spinal cord and retina (central nervous system neurons) were cultured on plastic substrata treated with purified fibronectin and laminin. Both central and peripheral neurons attached to and extended neurites on laminin. In contrast, only peripheral neurons initiated neurites on fibronectin; central neurons cultured under identical conditions aggregated into clusters and did not extend neurites. Neurite length, number of neurites initiated, and extent of neurite branching on fibronectin- and laminin-treated substrata were evaluated and compared with similar measurements of neuronal response to poly-l-lysine-treated plastic. Poly-l-lysine provides an adhesive surface for neurite elongation, but fibronectin and laminin appear to promote more rapid neurite elongation. Our observations suggest that neuronal interaction with these glycoproteins may involve neuron-specific cell surface components. These responses to laminin and fibronectin in vitro may be related to the presence or absence of these glycoproteins in specific extracellular environments during specific developmental stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-220
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1983

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1 This work was supported by grants from the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Medical Foundation, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and grants PCM 79-23907 and PCM 82-03855 from the National Science Foundation to P.C.L. and a grant from the Leukemia Task Force and grants CA29995 and CA21436 from the National Institutes of Health to L.T.F. ’ To whom all correspondence should be addressed: Department Anatomy, 4-135 Jackson Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. 55455 ’ L.T.F. is the recipient of the Stone Professorship of Pathology and Research Career Development Award K04 CA00651 from the National Institutes of Health.


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