Specific adhesion between pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells and adrenal medullary endothelial cells in co-culture

Summary

Chromaffin cells in the adrenal medulla are found in close proximity to capillary endothelial cells, thereby forming the classical endocrine complex. To examine the possible chemical basis of their interaction in more detail, we have grown bovine adrenal medullary endothelial (BAME) cells in monolayer cultures and added to them pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells, a chromaffin tumor cell line of rats. The PC12 cells were chosen because of the similarities they share with adrenal medullary chromaffin cells. PC12 cells rapidly attached to BAME cells cultures, their rate of adhesion being significantly enhanced over binding of PC12 cells to either uncoated plates or to monolayers of unrelated cell cultures. Consistent with this observation, we noted that the extracellular matrix (ECM) derived from the BAME cells did not enhance PC12 cell adhesion and did not promote neurite sprouting as previously described for ECM derived from corneal endothelial cells. The specific adhesion between PC12 and BAME cells could be abolished by cell surface extracts derived from these two cells but not by extracts derived from unrelated cell types. This activity was heat-labile, sensitive to trypsin and, to a lesser extent, to neuraminidase. We therefore conclude that PC12 cells may interact with BAME cells by specific proteinaceous adhesive factors associated with their plasma membranes. These interactions might represent the formative role of cell-cell contacts in the organization of the developing adrenal gland.

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Abbreviations

BAME :

bovine adrenal medullary endothelial cells

DMEM :

Dulbecco's modified essential medium

ECM :

extracellular matrix

EMEM :

Eagle's modified essential medium

FCS :

fetal calf serum

PBS :

phosphate-buffered saline

PC12 :

rat pheochromocytoma cells

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Correspondence to Peter I. Lelkes.

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Mizrachi, Y., Lelkes, P.I., Ornberg, R.L. et al. Specific adhesion between pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells and adrenal medullary endothelial cells in co-culture. Cell Tissue Res. 256, 365–372 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00218894

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Key words

  • Adrenal medullary endothelial cells
  • Pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells
  • Co-culture
  • Cell surface extracts
  • Adhesion
  • Cell-cell interactions
  • Bovine
  • Rat