Surface-Bound and Released Neuronal Glycoproteins and Glycolipids
The establishment of the complex network of synaptic connections which occurs during vertebrate neural development is the result of a sequential series of cellular interactions between neurons and their targets. These interactions occur throughout the periods of cell migration, axonal outgrowth, recognition of target cells, differentiation and pre- and postsynaptic elements, competition between and reorganization of connections, and stabilization of the final connections in maturity (cf Patterson and Purves, 1982). A number of these stages, particularly the later ones, are controlled primarily by synaptic transmission. For example, distribution of acetylcholine receptors in adult skeletal muscle is determined largely by the activity induced in the muscle by synaptic transmission (Lomo and Westgaard, 1976). On the other hand, a number of interactions, particularly during the early phases of synapse formation, do not appear to be mediated by the transmitter. The initial organization of muscle acetylcholine receptors under the nerve, for example, can occur in the absence of acetylcholine binding to its receptor (Anderson et al., 1977). Cellular interactions in this case must involve other secreted or cell surface molecules. The identification, purification and characterization of these molecules is a particularly challenging area of contemporary neurobiology.
KeywordsPC12 Cell Sympathetic Neuron Protein Release Adult Skeletal Muscle Neutral Glycolipid
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