Transferrin was not required for the short‐term survival of cultured chick retinal neurons. Both human and chick transferrin failed to enhance the in vitro survival of 8‐ or 11‐day embryonic chick retinal neurons when cultured in a defined medium. Furthermore, maintenance of neurons in the presence of chick transferrin antibody did not alter in vitro survival. Retinal neurons, however, could bind and internalize human or chick transferrin when assayed for by fluorescence immunohistochemical techniques. Binding and internalization of chick transferrin appeared to be greater than human transferrin. Iron uptake was measured in cultures maintained in the absence of transferrin. After incubation with 59FeCI3, iron uptake was 3.5 ± 1.1 fmoles/cell. The presence of chick transferrin antibody did not significantly alter the amount of iron uptake occurring in this assay. In a comparison of human and chick transferrin mediated iron uptake, chick transferrin was 50% more effective than human transferrin in transporting iron. This study demonstrates that cultured embryonic retinal neurons are not dependent on transferrin for survival or iron uptake, although they actively bind and internalize transferrin. Results also demonstrate that whereas cultured chick retinal neurons can bind and utilize human transferrin, they do so with less efficiency than chick transferrin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology