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Selective inhibition of neurite outgrowth on mature astrocytes by Thy-1 glycoprotein


THY-1, the smallest member of the immunoglobulin superfamily1, is a major cell-surface component expressed by several tissues2. The protein1carbohydrate3 and gene4 structures of this molecule are known, yet its function is not. It is highly expressed in nervous tissue5, where it appears on virtually all neurons after the cessation of axonal growth6. Here we show that expression of Thy-1 by a neural cell line inhibits neurite outgrowth on mature astrocytes, but not on other cellular substrata which include Schwann cells and embryonic glia. This inhibition of neurite extension on astrocytes can be reversed by low concentrations (nanomolar) of soluble Thy-1. If a similar interaction between neuronal Thy-1 and astrocytes occurs in vivo, it could stabilize neuronal connec-tions and suppress axonal regrowth after injury in the astrocyte-rich areas of adult central nervous system.

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Tiveron, MC., Barboni, E., Pliego Rivero, F. et al. Selective inhibition of neurite outgrowth on mature astrocytes by Thy-1 glycoprotein. Nature 355, 745–748 (1992).

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