Cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions are believed to play crucial roles in neural development. Cell adhesion molecules of the immunoglobulin and cadherin families, as well as integrin heterodimers and extracellular matrix glycoproteins, are widely expressed in the nervous system. The advent of gene targeting technology has heralded a new era for study of their function. Initial observations in 'knockout' mice have yielded some surprising results.
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