A60 is a 60-kDa component of the axonal cortical cytoskeleton in CNS neurones. It appears to be neurone specific and is tightly bound to brain membranes. In this study the cytoskeletal activities and developmental expression of A60 in rat cerebellum have been examined using the monoclonal antibody DR1. A60 in a partially purified soluble extract of brain membranes interacts selectively with brain but not erythrocyte spectrin. Because erythrocyte spectrin is more closely related to the dendritic form of spectrin than the axonal form, this raises the possibility that A60 localises in axons by interaction with the axonal form of spectrin only. A60 is not found in rat cerebellum before the day of birth. However, during postnatal development of the cerebellum (days 1-13) DR1 reactivity appears progressively. On postnatal day 1, a small population of cells in the mantle layer (presumptive Purkinje cells) is DR1 positive. There is no DR1 reactivity found in Purkinje cell axons during their initial phase of growth. By postnatal day 7, Purkinje cell bodies, initial dendritic segments, and the cerebellar white matter are all positive. This pattern of labelling is strengthened up until postnatal day 13. By contrast, in adult rat cerebellum, the location of A60 has changed so that it is most concentrated in axons, and dendritic staining is lost. These data indicate that A60 is a spectrin-binding component of the adult axonal membrane skeleton, the presence of which is only required in axons after the initial phase of growth
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