Neuronal and glial cells organizing the central nervous system (CNS) are generated from common neural precursor cells (NPCs) during neural development. However, the expression of cell-surface glycoconjugates that are crucial for determining the properties and biological function of these cells at different stages of development has not been clearly defined. In this study, we investigated the expression of several stage-specific glycoconjugate antigens, including several b-series gangliosides GD3, 9-O-acetyl GD3, GT1b and GQ1b, stage-specific embryonic antigen-1 (SSEA-1) and HNK-1, in mouse embryonic NPCs employing immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry. In addition, several of these antigens were positively identified by chemical means for the first time. We further showed that the SSEA-1 immunoreactivity was contributed by both glycoprotein and glycolipid antigens, and that of HNK-1 was contributed only by glycoproteins. Functionally, SSEA-1 may participate in migration of the cells from neurospheres in an NPC cell culture system, and the effect could be repressed by anti-SSEA-1 antibody. Based on this observation, we identified β1 integrin as one of the SSEA-1 carrier glycoproteins. Our data thus provide insights into the functional role of certain glycoconjugate antigens in NPCs during neural development.
- Neural development
- Neuroepithelial cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience