Journal Of Membrane Biology
The mechanisms underlying autonomic innervation to its targets involve various chemical factors, but have not yet been elucidated in detail. We constructed a co-culture system of neuronal cells and vascular smooth muscle cells to investigate the mechanisms underlying innervation of the vasculature. A co-culture with the vascular smooth muscle cell line, SM-3 significantly promoted cell viability, neurite extension, and neuropilin-1 (Nrp-1) mRNA expression in the cholinergic neuronal cell line, NG108-15. Furthermore, immunocytochemistry with or without a detergent treatment revealed that a co-culture with SM-3 cells or culturing with the conditioned medium of SM-3 cells translocated Nrp-1 onto the cell surface of growth cones rather than varicosities of NG108-15 cells. Immunofluorescent microscopy combined with a cold detergent treatment or cholesterol depletion revealed that Nrp-1 accumulated in putative raft domains in the plasma membrane of NG108-15 cells co-cultured with SM-3 cells. The results of the present study suggest that some soluble factors from smooth muscle cells may affect the localization of Nrp-1 in cholinergic neuronal cells, which may, in turn, be involved in the autonomic innervation of blood vessels.