[en] The RC2 antibody is frequently used to label mouse radial glial cells in all parts of the nervous system where neuronal migration occurs during embryonic and early postnatal life. The antigen recognized by this antibody still needs to be identified. We have characterized further its localization in vivo, its expression and subcellular localization in vitro, as well as its molecular nature. Histologic investigations of whole mouse embryos reveal an equally intense expression of RC2 immunostaining in radial glial cells in brain and spinal cord and in skeletal muscle. In glial cells cultures, the RC2 antibody recognizes an epitope located on the glial cytoskeleton and identified as an intermediate filament associated protein (IFAP) at the ultrastructural level. RC2 immunostaining in those cells is strongly dependent on the presence of a serum-derived activity. Serum-removal causes a decrease of the staining while adding serum back to the cells induces reexpression of RC2 immunoreactivity. By Western blotting, we find that in intermediate filament (IF) preparations obtained from cultured cerebellar glia, the RC2 antibody recognizes a 295-kDa protein whose expression is also dependent on the presence of serum in culture medium. In developing muscle cells, RC2 immunostaining is observed from the myoblast stage and disappears after complete myotube fusion. Both in vivo and in vitro, staining is first seen as a loose capping around myoblasts nuclei and progressively concentrates into Z-disks in association with the muscle IF protein desmin. The RC2 antibody also recognizes a 295-kDa protein band in muscle tissue protein extracts. Thus, the RC2 antibody recognizes a developmentally regulated cytoskeletal protein that is expressed, like other previously identified IFAPs, by cells of the glial and myogenic lineages and whose expression in vitro seems to be controlled by a signaling mechanism known to modulate astroglial morphology.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; Fonds pour la formation à la Recherche dans l'Industrie et dans l'Agriculture (Communauté française de Belgique) - FRIA