The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Antibody to galactocerebroside alters organization of oligodendroglial membrane sheets in culture.

PMID 2460596


Antibodies to galactocerebroside (GalC) cause major changes in the organization of the membrane sheets elaborated by murine oligodendroglia in culture. Exposure of oligodendroglia to rabbit anti-GalC IgG for 15 min followed by fluoresceinated second antibodies results in patches of surface GalC staining; when second antibodies are applied after 2 hr of anti-GalC, the pattern of staining on membrane sheets is solid and wrinkled. Anti-GalC exposure for 24 hr results in contracted membrane sheets. No membrane contraction is detected in cultures treated with anti-sulfatide IgM or anti-proteolipid protein IgG. In cultures exposed to anti-GalC continuously for 4-7 d, there is a marked decrease in numbers of extended membrane sheets with an accompanying increase in contracted sheets. This effect is reversible upon removal of anti-GalC from the culture media. By scanning electron microscopy, normally flat membrane sheets appear ruffled after 2 hr of anti-GalC treatment; by 24 hr, contracted membrane sheets consist entirely of bulbous protrusions. Oligodendrocyte membranes exposed to anti-sulfatide for 24 hr are not contracted but are covered with bulbous protrusions. The organization of underlying membrane structures was examined in relation to membrane patching and sheet contraction. In membranes with patching induced by exposure to anti-GalC for 15 min, the anti-GalC: GalC complexes are localized over cytoplasmic MBP domains, with the unstained areas located above cytoplasmic microtubular structures. Membrane sheets that are contracted in response to anti-GalC exposure for 6-24 hr show intense GalC staining over microtubular structures. Anti-GalC exposure does not change metabolism of GalC; in cultures incubated with 3H-galactose and anti-GalC for 24 hr, there are no alterations in GalC labeling compared with control cultures. In summary, these results provide direct evidence that interaction between surface glycolipids and external antibodies can initiate a sequence of events leading to dramatic changes within the oligodendrocyte.

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G9152 Anti-Galactocerebroside antibody produced in rabbit, whole antiserum