The effects of nerve growth factor (NGF) and antiserum to NGF on the development of embryonic sympathetic neurons in vivo

John A. Kessler*, Ira B. Black

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

The role of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the development of embryonic sympathetic neurons was examined in vivo. Individual mouse embryos received transuterine injections of NGF or antiserum to NGF (anti-NGF), and the effects on the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) were studied. Treatment with NGF at any gestational stage, from the time of ganglion aggregation to birth, increased ganglion tyrosine hydroxylase (T-OH) activity. Both the number of catecholaminergic neurons and T-OH activity per neuron were increased. Choline acetyltransferase (ChAc) activity was increased by NGF at early gestational stages, but not at later stages. These observations suggest that perikarya containing ChAc are responsive to NGF, whereas preganglionic nerve terminals are not. Treatment with anti-NGF rapidly and permanently decreased ganglion T-OH activity. The effects of anti-NGF were more pronounced at later gestational stages, suggesting that ganglia become increasingly dependent on NGF during development. Alteration of maternal levels of NGF had no effect on development of the embryonic SCG, suggesting that local embryonic concentrations of NGF are responsible for modulating sympathetic ontogeny.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-168
Number of pages12
JournalBrain research
Volume189
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 5 1980

Keywords

  • acetyltransferase
  • choline
  • development
  • nerve growth factor
  • sympathetic neurons
  • tissue culture
  • tyrosine hydroxylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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