Immunogenetic Studies on Cell Surface Components of the Mammalian Nervous System
Interest in the composition of the outer membrane surface of nerve cells stems from its possible significance for morphogenesis and differentiation. The ontogenetic specification of tissue organization has been elaborated to a very elegant extreme in the nervous system, since most of its functional properties derive from the particular ways in which nerve cell contacts are organized. In terms of cytoarchitecture, the outstanding feature of the nervous system is that each neuron receives information from many other neurons and in turn transmits to many target cells, the extent of this convergence and divergence varying among regions and among classes of cells. Evidence from morphological and biochemical studies suggests that this functional specialization involves the development of topographically distinct sites on the surface membrane of a given nerve cell [1–3]. It is commonly assumed that these mosaic surface properties, which seem to mediate the specificity of surface contacts, become established in the mammal during embryonic and early postnatal development . Direct molecular data on these organizational features at any stage of development, under any normal or pathological conditions are, however, very scarce.
KeywordsCell Class Early Postnatal Development Antigenic Component Mammalian Nervous System Outer Membrane Surface
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