A quantitative assay was used to measure the rate of collection of a population of embryonic neural retina cells to the surface of cell aggregates. The rate of collection of freshly trysinized cells was limited in the initial stages by the rate of replacement of trypsin-sensitive cell- surface components. When cells were preincubated, or "recovered," and then added to cell aggregates, collection occurred at a linear rate and was independent of protein and glycoprotein synthesis. The adhesion of recovered cells was temperature and energy dependent, and was reversibly inhibited by cytochalasin B. Colchicine had little effect on collection of recovered cells.
Antiserum directed against recovered cell membranes was shown to bind to recovered cells by indirect immunofluorescence. The antiserum also was shown to inhibit collection of recovered cells to aggregates, suggesting that at least some of the antigens identified might be involved in the adhesion process. The inhibitory effect of the antiserum was dose dependent . Freshly trypsinized cells absorbed neither the immunofluorescence activity nor the adhesion-inhibiting activity. Recovered cells absorbed away both activities.
In specificity studies, dorsal neural retina cells adhered to aggregates of ventral optic tectum in preference to aggregates of dorsal optic tectum. The adhesive specificity of the dorsal retina cells was less sensitive to trypsin than the adhesive specificity of ventral retina cells which adhered preferentially to dorsal tectal aggregates only after a period of recovery.