Embryonic chick neural retina cells release glycoprotein complexes, termed adherons, into their culture medium. When absorbed onto the surface of petri dishes, neural retina adherons increase the initial rate of neural retina cell adhesion; they also stimulate the rate of cell-cell aggregation. Adheron-stimulated adhesion is tissue specific, and the spontaneous aggregation of neural retina cells is inhibited by monovalent Fab' fragments prepared from an antiserum against neural retina adherons. Therefore cell surface antigenic determinants shared with adherons are involved in normal cell-cell adhesions. The particles from the heterogeneous neural retina population contain many proteins and several glycosaminoglycans. The adherons migrate as a symmetrical 12S peak on sucrose gradients and are predominantly 15-nm spheres when examined by electron microscopy. Finally, the specific activity of neural retina adherons increases from embryonic days 7 through 12 and then declines. These results suggest that glycoprotein particles may be involved in some of the adhesive interactions between neural retina cells and between the cells and their environment.

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