Worm Breeder's Gazette 9(1): 84

These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

Antibodies to vertebrate neural cell adhesion molecule N-CAM, stain male specific cephalic neurons in C. elegans

S. Siddiqui and J. Culotti

Using indirect immunofluorescence on whole animal squashes with 
polyclonal antibodies made against mouse N-CAM, a small number (4) of 
neurons, are stained in the head of C.  elegans males.  These cells 
are most likely the four male specific cephalic neurons CEMs.  This 
identification is based on the following criteria.
(1) Neuronal staining is observed only in males, and not in 
(2) The cell bodies are in the proper positions to be the CEMs as 
determined by double labeling nuclei with Hoechst dye.
(3) A similar pattern of staining is seen in heads of mutant ced-3 
hermaphrodites (in which the CEM cells survive due to a block in 
programmed cell deaths).
In addition to CEMs in male heads, a number of neurons are stained 
in the male tail nervous system which remain to be identified.  Non-
neural tissues stained with these antibodies include male vas deferens,
and sperm.  In hermaphrodites, a component of uterus, and sperm also 
stain.  As reported in the last worm meeting, pharyngeal gland cells 
and excretory cells are stained both in males and in hermaphrodites.
During early embryogenesis anti N-CAM antibodies apparently stain 
centrioles in dividing cells.  The centrioler staining decreases in 
size as the number of cells increases during early embryonic 
We are currently studying the molecular specificity of these 
antibodies in wild type and him-5 animals to look for nerve specific 
antigen(s) recognized by N-CAM antibodies.  In addition we are 
screening a number of mutants cytochemically for abnormal staining