Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 21, Issue 11, pp 788–795 | Cite as

Influence of an endogenous lectin substrate on cultured dorsal root ganglion cells

  • R. L. Outenreath
  • A. L. Jones


Dorsal root ganglion neurons normally contain a 14 500 molecular weight lactose-binding lectin, designated L-14. Although this lectin is developmentally regulated, and is localized to specific neurons as well as to specific areas of the rat spinal cord, its function in the nervous system is not known. In an effort to study the possible role of this lectin on peripheral neurons, they were dissociated and grown on substrates consisting of either L-14 or laminin, a molecule known to support neurite outgrowth. In contrast to the random distribution and fine neurites displayed by neurons on laminin, those growing on L-14 formed large aggregates with highly fasciculated neurite bundles. Experiments using plant lectins with sugar-binding specificity similar to that of L-14, as well as another endogenous rat lectin not present in neurons, resulted in essentially no neuronal attachment or neurite outgrowth. In addition, the effects induced by L-14 were not blocked by high concentrations of competing sugars, suggesting that it interacts with neurons by a domain distinct from its carbohydrate-binding site.


Dorsal Root Ganglion Laminin Neurite Outgrowth Dorsal Root Ganglion Neuron Ganglion Neuron 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. L. Outenreath
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. L. Jones
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Medicine and AnatomyUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco, San Francisco
  2. 2.Cell Biology and Aging Section (151E)Veterans Administration Medical CenterSan FranciscoUSA

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