Can retinal adhesion mechanisms determine cell-sorting patterns: a test of the differential adhesion hypothesis
Embryonic chick neural retina cells possess two classes of adhesion mechanism, one Ca2+-independent, one Ca2+-dependent, responsible for short-term cell aggregation. This study investigates the role of these mechanisms in the long-term cell sorting potentially relevant to in vivo histogenesis. Retina cells are prepared either with both (E cells) or with only one mechanism (TC cells, CD; LTE cells, CI), respectively. The two types of cell preparations are differentially labelled using
... ed using fluorescein or rhodamine isothiocyanate, mixed and allowed to aggregate in the presence or absence of cycloheximide at 0.5 microgram ml-1 to retard metabolic recovery of the removed adhesive mechanism. When observed by fluorescence and phase-contrast microscopy, the aggregates formed in cycloheximide show cell sorting, the cells with both mechanisms assuming a more interior position relative to those with a single adhesion mechanism. In parallel hanging-drop experiments, preformed aggregates of cells with a single adhesion mechanism are seen to spread upon aggregates of cells with both mechanisms. No sorting occurs amongst cells from a given stage prepared using any single dissociation protocol. The observed cell sorting would thus seem to derive exclusively from differential cell adhesiveness dependent upon the different dissociation conditions and maintained in the presence of cycloheximide. The experiments support the hypothesis that the dual CI and CD adhesion mechanisms in question can play a central role in governing cell-sorting behaviour during normal histogenesis.