The nerve growth factor receptor gene is expressed in both neuronal and non-neuronal tissues in the human fetus.
ABSTRACT In situ hybridization was used to study expression of beta-nerve growth factor receptor (NGF-R) mRNA in the early human fetus. In 8- to 12-week old fetuses, high labelling was found over motoneurons along the entire length of the lateral motor column. High levels of NGF-R mRNA were also seen over most developing nerve cell bodies in both the dorsomedial and ventrolateral part of the dorsal root ganglia. Lower, but clearly specific labelling was detected over a subpopulation of cells in Auerbach's plexus in the intestines. Evidence for a non-neuronal expression of NGF-R mRNA came from labelling over a subpopulation of cells in glomeruli of the kidney in a 12-week old human embryo. Myoblasts in skeletal muscle anlagen were labelled as well as cells along peripheral nerve. The widespread expression of NGF-R mRNA in the human fetus suggests that the NGF-R is important for development of a variety of different tissues of both neuronal and non-neuronal origin.
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ABSTRACT: Vagal gastrointestinal (GI) afferents are essential for the regulation of eating, body weight, and digestion. However, their functional organization and the way that this develops are poorly understood. Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is crucial for the survival of vagal sensory neurons and is expressed in the developing GI tract, possibly contributing to their survival and to other aspects of vagal afferent development. The identification of the functions of this peripheral NT-3 thus requires a detailed understanding of the localization and timing of its expression in the developing GI tract. We have studied embryos and neonates expressing the lacZ reporter gene from the NT-3 locus and found that NT-3 is expressed predominantly in the smooth muscle of the outer GI wall of the stomach, intestines, and associated blood vessels and in the stomach lamina propria and esophageal epithelium. NT-3 expression has been detected in the mesenchyme of the GI wall by embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) and becomes restricted to smooth muscle and lamina propria by E15.5, whereas its expression in blood vessels and esophageal epithelium is first observed at E15.5. Expression in most tissues is maintained at least until postnatal day 4. The lack of colocalization of beta-galactosidase and markers for myenteric ganglion cell types suggests that NT-3 is not expressed in these ganglia. Therefore, NT-3 expression in the GI tract is largely restricted to smooth muscle at ages when vagal axons grow into the GI tract, and when vagal mechanoreceptors form in smooth muscle, consistent with its role in these processes and in vagal sensory neuron survival.Cell and Tissue Research 04/2010; 340(2):267-86. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Target-derived neurotrophins exert powerful synaptotrophic actions in the adult brain and are involved in the regulation of different forms of synaptic plasticity. Target disconnection produces a profound synaptic stripping due to the lack of trophic support. Consequently, target reinnervation leads to synaptic remodeling and restoration of cellular functions. Extraocular motoneurons are unique in that they normally express the TrkA neurotrophin receptor in the adult, a feature not seen in other cranial or spinal motoneurons, except after lesions such as axotomy or in neurodegenerative diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We investigated the effects of nerve growth factor (NGF) by retrogradely delivering this neurotrophin to abducens motoneurons of adult cats. Axotomy reduced the density of somatic boutons and the overall tonic and phasic firing modulation. Treatment with NGF restored synaptic inputs and firing modulation in axotomized motoneurons. When K252a, a selective inhibitor of tyrosine kinase activity, was applied to specifically test TrkA effects, the NGF-mediated restoration of synapses and firing-related parameters was abolished. Discharge variability and recruitment threshold were, however, increased by NGF compared with control or axotomized motoneurons. Interestingly, these parameters returned to normal following application of REX, an antibody raised against neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75(NTR)). In conclusion, NGF, acting retrogradely through TrkA receptors, supports afferent boutons and regulates the burst and tonic signals correlated with eye movements. On the other hand, p75(NTR) activation regulates recruitment threshold, which impacts on firing regularity. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing powerful synaptotrophic effects of NGF on motoneurons in vivo.Journal of Neuroscience 06/2010; 30(24):8308-19. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adult skeletal muscle in mammals is a stable tissue under normal circumstances but has remarkable ability to repair after injury. Skeletal muscle regeneration is a highly orchestrated process involving the activation of various cellular and molecular responses. As skeletal muscle stem cells, satellite cells play an indispensible role in this process. The self-renewing proliferation of satellite cells not only maintains the stem cell population but also provides numerous myogenic cells, which proliferate, differentiate, fuse, and lead to new myofiber formation and reconstitution of a functional contractile apparatus. The complex behavior of satellite cells during skeletal muscle regeneration is tightly regulated through the dynamic interplay between intrinsic factors within satellite cells and extrinsic factors constituting the muscle stem cell niche/microenvironment. For the last half century, the advance of molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics has greatly improved our understanding of skeletal muscle biology. Here, we review some recent advances, with focuses on functions of satellite cells and their niche during the process of skeletal muscle regeneration.Physiological Reviews 01/2013; 93(1):23-67. · 30.17 Impact Factor