Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 31, Issue 8–9, pp 755–763 | Cite as

Ultrastructural localization of NGF receptors in satellite cells of the rat spinal ganglia

  • Ennio Pannese
  • Patrizia Procacci


Data on the presence of NGF receptors in the satellite cells of spinal ganglia are scanty and contradictory. In the present study we used immunocytochemistry to examine the distribution of these receptors in spinal ganglia of the adult rat by light and electron microscopy. We found that (1) all satellite cells were immmunoreactive to p75 and the mean density of gold particles (mean number per μm2) was significantly greater in the satellite cell sheath than in the nerve cell body; (2) numerous satellite cells were immunoreactive for trkA with a mean density of gold particles slightly greater in the satellite cell sheath than in the nerve cell body, although the difference was not statistically significant; (3) both p75 and trkA immunoreactivity were confined to the cytoplasm. We suggest that the p75 receptor may be involved in the NGF-induced outgrowth of slender projections from the nerve cell body surface. With regard to the trkA receptor, satellite cells might be supported trophically by NGF released from the neuron with which they are associated; alternatively, satellite cells might internalize NGF to constitute a reservoir for later release to the neuron.


Gold Electron Microscopy Body Surface Nerve Cell Satellite Cell 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ennio Pannese
    • 1
  • Patrizia Procacci
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Histology, Embryology and NeurocytologyUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

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