Cells Expressing mRNA for Neurotrophins and their Receptors During Embryonic Rat Development

The European Journal of Neuroscience
P ErnforsHåkan Persson


In situ hybridization analysis of cells expressing messenger RNAs (mRNAs) for the neurotrophins nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and their high-affinity receptors (trk, trkB and trkC) in the rat embryo revealed a complex but specific expression pattern for each of these mRNAs. For all mRNAs a developmentally regulated expression was seen in many different tissues. BDNF and NT-3 mRNAs were expressed in the sensory epithelia of the cochlea and vestibule macula of the sacculus and utricle, and both trkB and trkC mRNA were expressed in the spiral and vestibule ganglia innervating these sensory structures. NGF and NT-3 mRNA were found in the iris, innervated by the sympathetic neurons of the superior cervical ganglion and sensory neurons from the trigeminal ganglion, which expressed both trk and trkC mRNAs. Both NGF and NT-3 mRNAs were also expressed in other target fields of the trigeminal ganglion, the epithelium of the whisker follicles (NT-3 mRNA) and in the epithelium of the nose, tongue and jaw. NT-3 mRNA was found in the cerebellar external granule layer and trkC mRNA in the Purkinje layer of the cerebellar primordia. These sites of synthesis are consistent with a t...Continue Reading


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