Structurally distinct LewisX glycans distinguish subpopulations of neural stem/progenitor cells

Eva Hennen, Tim Czopka, Andreas Faissner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is increasing evidence that the stem and progenitor cell population that builds the central nervous system is very heterogeneous. Stem cell markers with the potential to divide this cell pool into subpopulations with distinct characteristics are sparse. We were looking for new cell type-specific antigens to further subdivide the progenitor pool. Here, we introduce the novel monoclonal antibody clone 5750. We show that it specifically labels cell surfaces of neural stem and progenitor cells. When 5750-expressing cells were isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting from embryonic mouse brains, the sorted population showed increased neurosphere forming capacity and multipotency. Neurospheres generated from 5750-positive cells could self-renew and remained multipotent even after prolonged passaging. Carbohydrate binding assays revealed that the 5750 antibody specifically binds to LewisX-related carbohydrates. Interestingly, we found that the LewisX epitope recognized by clone 5750 differs from those detected by other anti-LewisX antibody clones like 487(LeX), SSEA-1(LeX), and MMA(LeX). Our data further reveal that individual anti-LewisX clones can be successfully used to label and deplete different subpopulations of neural cells in vivo and in vitro. In conclusion, we present a new tool for the isolation and characterization of neural subpopulations and provide insights into the complexity of cell surface glycosylation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16321-31
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2011


  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • COS Cells
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cercopithecus aethiops
  • Epitopes
  • Female
  • Glycosylation
  • Mice
  • Neural Stem Cells
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Rats


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