As our previous studies have indicated, many subsets of neurons in the vertebrate brain possess a sulfated proteoglycan surface coat which reacts to cationic iron colloid and aldehyde fuchsin. The present study demonstrated that this surface coat is supravitally stained with Ehrlich's methylene blue, and doubly with this blue and aldehyde fuchsin, a finding suggesting its being identical to Cajal's superficial reticulum (red superficial) and to Golgi's reticular coating (revetement reticulare). The perineuronal surface coat was further stained with Gomori's ammoniacal silver, and doubly with this silver and cationic iron colloid. These neurons with such a proteoglycan surface coat usually expressed cell surface glycoproteins which were labeled with lectin Wisteria floribunda agglutinin. Hyaluronidase digestion did not interfere with this lectin labeling of the glycoproteins, methylene blue and Gomori's ammoniacal silver staining of the surface coat, while it erased the cationic iron colloid and aldehyde fuchsin staining of the surface coat. These findings suggest that the perineuronal proteoglycan surface coat is associated with some additional molecules which are resistant to hyaluronidase digestion and stainable with methylene blue and Gomori's ammoniacal silver. The possibility is suggested that these molecules might represent 'ligand proteoglycans' connecting the perineuronal proteoglycans and cell surface glycoproteins.
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