Neural precursor cell chain migration and division are regulated through different β1 integrins

Thomas S. Jacques, João B. Relvas, Stephen Nishimura, Robert Pytela, Gwynneth M. Edwards, Charles H. Streuli, Charles ffrench-Constant

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238 Citations (Scopus)


Proliferation and tangential migration of neural precursor cells are essential determinants of CNS development. We have established cell culture models of both these processes using neural precursor cells grown as neurospheres. The pattern of migration that we observe in these cells is homotypic and occurs in the absence of a glial or neuronal scaffold, and is therefore equivalent to that previously described as chain migration. To determine the role of integrins in proliferation and migration, we have analysed the expression pattern of integrins on neurosphere cells and then performed blocking peptide and antibody experiments. Neurosphere cells express five major integrins, α5β1, α6Aβ1, αvβ1, αvβ5 and αvβ8 and, in addition, express low levels of α6Bβ1. Chain migration is inhibited by blocking the α6β1 integrin. Proliferation, by contrast, is inhibited by blocking the other β1 integrins, αvβ1 and α5β1. These results show that integrins are important regulators of neural precursor cell behaviour, with distinct β1 integrins regulating proliferation and migration. They also demonstrate a novel role for the α6β1 integrin in the cell-cell interactions underlying homotypic chain migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3167-3177
Number of pages11
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1998


  • Central nervous system
  • Chain migration
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Integrin
  • Neural precursor
  • Neuroepithelium
  • Neurosphere
  • Proliferation

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