Concentration of membrane antigens by forward transport and trapping in neuronal growth cones

Michael P. Sheetz, Nikki L. Baumrind, Denise B. Wayne, Alan L. Pearlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Formation of the nervous system requires that neuronal growth cones follow specific paths and then stop at recognition signals, sensed at the growth cone's leading edge. We used antibody-coated gold particles viewed by video-enhanced differential interference contrast microscopy to observe the distribution and movement of two cell surface molecules, N-CAM and the 2A1 antigen, on growth cones of cultured cortical neurons. Gold particles are occassionally transported forward at 1-2 μm/s to the leading edge where they are trapped but continue to move. Concentration at the edge persists after cytochalasin D treatment or ATP depletion, but active movements to and along edges cease. We also observed a novel outward movement of small cytoplasmic aggregates at 1.8 μm/s in filopodia. We suggest that active forward transport and trapping involve reversible attachment of antigens to and transport along cytoskeletal elements localized to edges of growth cones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 20 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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