Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2022; 26 (17): 6273-6282

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202209_29651

Expression of L1 Cell Adhesion Molecule (L1CAM) in extracellular vesicles in the human spinal cord during development

F. Cau, D. Fanni, M. Manchia, C. Gerosa, M. Piras, R. Murru, P. Paribello, T. Congiu, P. Coni, G. Pichiri, M. Piludu, P. Van Eyken, Y. Gibo, G. La Nasa, G. Orrù, A. Scano, F. Coghe, L. Saba, M. Castagnola, G. Faa

Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, Division of Pathology, AOU of Cagliari, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy. flacau@tiscali.it


OBJECTIVE: L1  cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) is a glycoprotein characterized by three components: an extracellular region, a transmembrane segment, and a cytoplasmic tail. L1CAM is expressed in multiple human cells, including neurons. The neural cell adhesion molecule L1 has been implicated in a variety of neurologic processes, including neuritogenesis and cerebellar cell migration. The presence of L1CAM on the surface of nerve cells allows the adhesion of neurons among them. Furthermore, when it is bound to itself or to other proteins, L1-CAM induces signals inside the cell. The aim of this work was to study L1CAM expression in the human spinal cord during development, at different gestational ages, through immunohistochemistry.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Immunohistochemical analysis for L1CAM was performed in five human spinal cord samples, including three embryos and two fetuses of different gestational ages, ranging from 8 to 12 weeks.

RESULTS: L1CAM expression was detected in all 5 spinal cords examined in this study. The adhesion molecule was found in the vast majority of cells. The highest levels of immunoreactivity for L1CAM were detected at the periphery of the developing organs, in the spinal cord zones occupied by sensory and motor fibers. In the alar and basal columns, immunoreactivity for L1CAM was characterized by a reticular pattern, being mainly expressed in axons. Strong reactivity of L1CAM was also found in extracellular vesicles. This extracellular localization might indicate the ability of L1CAM to mediate the transduction of extracellular signals that support axon outgrowth.

CONCLUSIONS: The high reactivity of L1cam in the axons of developing neurons in the fetal spinal cord confirms previous studies on the ability of L1CAM to promote axon sprouting and branching in the developing nervous system. In this work, a new actor is reported to have a role in the complex field of human spinal cord development: L1CAM, whose expression is highly found in the developing neuronal and glial precursors.

Free PDF Download

To cite this article

F. Cau, D. Fanni, M. Manchia, C. Gerosa, M. Piras, R. Murru, P. Paribello, T. Congiu, P. Coni, G. Pichiri, M. Piludu, P. Van Eyken, Y. Gibo, G. La Nasa, G. Orrù, A. Scano, F. Coghe, L. Saba, M. Castagnola, G. Faa
Expression of L1 Cell Adhesion Molecule (L1CAM) in extracellular vesicles in the human spinal cord during development

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2022
Vol. 26 - N. 17
Pages: 6273-6282
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202209_29651