Monoclonal antibody 3CB2 recognizes an antigen expressed in discrete cell types derived from ectoderm and mesoderm. Biochemical and immunohistochemical studies indicate that the antigen recognized by the antibody is a 55 kDa cytoplasmic protein that may be an intermediate filament associated protein (IFAP). Developmental studies show that 3CB2 antigen is intensely expressed very early in the chick embryo, in the neural tube, myotomes, and in mesenchymal cells of visceral arches and the presumptive facial area. As development proceeds, antigen expression becomes restricted to astrocytes and radial glia cells throughout the brain.
A detailed immunohistochemical study of the developing chick retina shows that the expression of 3CB2 antigen at embryonic day 8 (E8) is restricted to Müller cells, with the pattern of expression closely related to their degree of differentiation. We show, by immunocytochemistry labeling of entire Müller cells dissociated from retinas of E16-E20, that 3CB2 monoclonal is labeling the whole cell. 3CB2 selectively labels Müller cells in the rat and chameleon, but not their retinal horizontal cell axons.
3CB2 monoclonal is a very sensitive marker for early differentiating Müller cells. Our results provide evidence that 3CB2 antigen is a cytoskeletal component which may be involved in the morphogenesis of these cells, and also perhaps in the outgrowth of some axons. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.