Differences and developmental changes in the responsiveness of PNS neurons to GDNF and Neurturin

A Forgie, E Doxakis, A Buj-Bello, S Wyatt, A M Davies

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31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have studied the ability of GDNF and neurturin to promote the in vitro survival of populations of embryonic chicken parasympathetic, sympathetic, and sensory neurons. We show that these neurons are more responsive to one or other of these factors at particular stages of development. Whereas the parasympathetic neurons are more sensitive to neurturin at late embryonic stages, sympathetic neurons are more sensitive to neurturin at early stages. In contrast, sensory neurons of the nodose ganglion are more sensitive to GDNF throughout embryonic development. Using competitive RT/PCR, we measured the levels of mRNAs encoding GDNF and neurturin receptors in purified neurons. All neurons expressed net mRNA, which encodes the common receptor tyrosine kinase for GDNF and neurturin. Neurons that were more sensitive to GDNF expressed higher levels of GFR alpha-1 mRNA than GFR alpha-2 mRNA and neurons that were more sensitive to neurturin expressed higher levels of GFR alpha-2 mRNA than GFR alpha-1 mRNA. These results show that populations of PNS neurons differ markedly in their responsiveness to GDNF and neurturin at certain stages of the development and suggest that these differences are governed in part by the relative levels of expression of members of the GFR alpha family of GPI-linked receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-440
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999

Keywords

  • RECEPTOR TYROSINE KINASE
  • NERVE GROWTH-FACTOR
  • MICE LACKING GDNF
  • FOREBRAIN CHOLINERGIC NEURONS
  • MIDBRAIN DOPAMINERGIC-NEURONS
  • NEUROTROPHIC FACTOR GDNF
  • FACTOR FAMILY RECEPTOR
  • C-RET PROTOONCOGENE
  • INDUCED CELL-DEATH
  • SENSORY NEURONS

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