Extracellular and cell-coat complex carbohydrates play a major role in critical cellular functions, e.g., cell recognition and cell-to-cell adherence, which are involved in neurulation. To date, available evidence suggests that neurulation is a combination of intercellular and extracellular biochemical and morphological events which are under the direction of the genome. To define the carbohydrate components that are essential to neurulation, normal C-57 and abnormal splotch (Sp/Sp) mouse embryos were studied using fluorescein-labeled lectins and computer-aided microspectrophotometric analysis of hyaluronate lyase and chondroitin ABC lyase-sensitive Alcian blue staining. Preliminary results of these studies indicate that the neuroepithelium of the splotch Sp/Sp mutant, a genetic model of a primary neural tube defect, is characterized by alterations in the type and amount ofglycoconjugates and in the concentration of individual glycosaminoglycans. This review of mammalian neurulation discusses the importance of complex carbohydrates on the cell surface of the neuroepithelium of the closing neural fold.
- Complex carbohydrates
- Neural tube closure defects
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology