A Monoclonal Antibody That Defines Rostrocaudal Gradients in the Mammalian Nervous System
Spinal cord axons display a rostrocaudal, positional bias in their innervation of sympathetic ganglia and inter-costal skeletal muscles. In an effort to examine the molecular basis of this positional specificity, we used the cyclophosphamide immunosuppression method to produce monoclonal antibodies that bind preferentially to rostral ganglia. The staining distribution of one of these antibodies, ROCA1, has been analyzed using a novel histological method. A graded decline in binding is observed along the chain of adult rat sympathetic ganglia, as well as in the nerves innervating intercostal muscles. The antigen is identified on immunoblots as a 65 kd protein, whose distribution corresponds to the pattern found histologically. Surprisingly, ROCA1 appears to bind to glial cells, implying rostrocaudal, molecular differences in their surfaces.
© 1990 Cell Press. Received 7 June 1990, Revised 20 July 1990. We thank Charles Yee for considerable help with the histology and antibodies, Joann lmrich, Bill Matthew, Josh Sanes, and Jon Covault for advice, and Arlene Chiu, David Anderson, and members of our group for reading the manuscript. This project was supported by a Developmental Biology Grant from the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust and a McKnight Foundation Neuroscience Research Project Award to P.H. P., a Muscular Dystrophy Association fellowship to Z. K., and a Japanese Ministry of Education, Science and Culture fellowship to T. S. The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.