The neural cell adhesion molecules L1 and N-CAM share a common carbohydrate epitope that is recognized by the monoclonal antibodies L2 and HNK-1. The L2/HNK-1 epitope is also present on the myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) which is thought to mediate surface interactions between the axon and myelinating cell. Other, as yet unidentified, cell-surface glycoproteins are recognized by the two antibodies and are believed to belong to a family of neural cell adhesion molecules. To test this hypothesis, we have prepared polyclonal antibodies to a prominent member of the L2/HNK-1 family, the 160K (relative molecular mass (Mr)160,000) glycoprotein. Here we report that these antibodies, designated J1 antibodies, react with astrocytes and oligodendrocytes and interfere with neurone-astrocyte adhesion, but not with neurone-neurone or astrocyte-astrocyte adhesion. This result suggests the involvement of the J1 antigen in cell-cell interactions.