Effects of Nerve Growth Factor on Cholinergic Neurons of the Rat Forebrain
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is essential for development and function of peripheral sympathetic and sensory neurons (Thoenen and Barde, 1980). Administration of NGF to rodents produces hypertrophy of sympathetic neurons, whereas treatment with antibodies to NGF results in atrophy. Furthermore, NGF selectively stimulates the production of enzymes specific for the synthesis of catecholamine transmitters in sympathetic neurons. In contrast to these pronounced effects on peripheral sympathetic neurons, central catecholaminergic neurons are not affected by NGF or antibodies to NGF (Dreyfus et al., 1980; Konkol et al., 1978; Schwab et al., 1979). However, the following observations have suggested that NGF may play a role in the function of central cholinergic neurons located in septum and nucleus basalis and projecting to hippocampus and cortex. First, NGF injected into these cholinergic target areas is specifically taken up by cholinergic nerve terminals and is transported retrogradly to their cell bodies in septum and nucleus basalis (Schwab et al., 1979; Seiler and Schwab, 1984).
KeywordsNerve Growth Factor Cholinergic Neuron Nucleus Basalis Lesion Side ChAT Activity
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Hefti, F., Hartikka, J., Eckenstein, F., Gnahn, H., Heumann, R. and Schwab, M. 1984b, Nerve growth factor (NGF) increases choline acetyltransferase but not survival or fiber outgrowth of cultured septal cholinergic neurons, Neurosci., in press.Google Scholar
- König, J.F.R. and Klippel, R.A., 1963, “The Rat Brain. A Stereotaxic Atlas of the Forebrain and Lower Parts of the Brain Stem”, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD.Google Scholar
- Stein, D.G., Deluzarche, F.M. and Will, B., 1984, Nerve growth factor improves radial maze performance in adult rats with hippocampal lesions, in preparation.Google Scholar
- Thoenen, H. and Barde, Y.A., 1980, Physiology of nerve growth factor, Physiol. Rev., 60:1284.Google Scholar