N-cadherin and integrins: two receptor systems that mediate neuronal process outgrowth on astrocyte surfaces

Neuron. 1988 Mar;1(1):33-43. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(88)90207-3.


Receptor-mediated interactions between neurons and astroglia are likely to play a crucial role in the growth and guidance of CNS axons. Using antibodies to neuronal cell surface proteins, we identified two receptor systems mediating neurite outgrowth on cultured astrocytes. N-cadherin, a Ca2(+)-dependent cell adhesion molecule, functions prominently in the outgrowth of neurites on astrocytes by E8 and E14 chick ciliary ganglion (CG) neurons. beta 1-class integrin ECM receptor heterodimers function less prominently in E8 and not at all in E14 neurite outgrowth on astrocytes. The lack of effect of integrin beta 1 antibodies on E14 neurite outgrowth reflects an apparent loss of integrin function, as assayed by E14 neuronal attachment and process outgrowth on laminin. N-CAM appeared not to be required for neurite outgrowth by either E8 or E14 neurons. Since N-cadherin and integrin beta 1 antibodies together virtually eliminated E8 CG neurite outgrowth on cultured astrocytes, these two neuronal receptors are probably important in regulating axon growth on astroglia in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / cytology*
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Cadherins / immunology
  • Cadherins / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Chickens
  • Dendrites / drug effects
  • Ganglia, Parasympathetic / cytology
  • Ganglia, Parasympathetic / drug effects
  • Immune Sera / pharmacology
  • Integrins / immunology
  • Integrins / physiology*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / immunology
  • Nerve Growth Factors / pharmacology
  • Nerve Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor


  • Cadherins
  • Immune Sera
  • Integrins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor