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(1/3919) Regulation of neurotrophin-3 expression by epithelial-mesenchymal interactions: the role of Wnt factors.

Neurotrophins regulate survival, axonal growth, and target innervation of sensory and other neurons. Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is expressed specifically in cells adjacent to extending axons of dorsal root ganglia neurons, and its absence results in loss of most of these neurons before their axons reach their targets. However, axons are not required for NT-3 expression in limbs; instead, local signals from ectoderm induce NT-3 expression in adjacent mesenchyme. Wnt factors expressed in limb ectoderm induce NT-3 in the underlying mesenchyme. Thus, epithelial-mesenchymal interactions mediated by Wnt factors control NT-3 expression and may regulate axonal growth and guidance.  (+info)

(2/3919) Differential expression of the mRNA for the vanilloid receptor subtype 1 in cells of the adult rat dorsal root and nodose ganglia and its downregulation by axotomy.

Sensitivity to the pungent vanilloid, capsaicin, defines a subpopulation of primary sensory neurons that are mainly polymodal nociceptors. The recently cloned vanilloid receptor subtype 1 (VR1) is activated by capsaicin and noxious heat. Using combined in situ hybridization and histochemical methods, we have characterized in sensory ganglia the expression of VR1 mRNA. We show that this receptor is almost exclusively expressed by neurofilament-negative small- and medium-sized dorsal root ganglion cells. Within this population, VR1 mRNA is detected at widely varying levels in both the NGF receptor (trkA)-positive, peptide-producing cells that elicit neurogenic inflammation and the functionally less characterized glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-responsive cells that bind lectin Griffonia simplicifolia isolectin B4 (IB4). Cells without detectable levels of VR1 mRNA are found in both classes. A subpopulation of the IB4-binding cells that produce somatostatin has relatively low levels of VR1 mRNA. A previously uncharacterized population of very small cells that express the receptor tyrosine kinase (RET) and that do not label for trkA or IB4-binding has the highest relative levels of VR1 mRNA. The majority of small visceral sensory neurons of the nodose ganglion also express VR1 mRNA, in conjunction with the BDNF receptor trkB but not trkA. Axotomy results in the downregulation of VR1 mRNA in dorsal root ganglion cells. Our data emphasize the heterogeneity of VR1 mRNA expression by subclasses of small sensory neurons, and this may result in their differential sensitivity to chemical and noxious heat stimuli. Our results also indicate that peripherally derived trophic factors may regulate levels of VR1 mRNA.  (+info)

(3/3919) In vivo NGF deprivation reduces SNS expression and TTX-R sodium currents in IB4-negative DRG neurons.

Recent evidence suggests that changes in sodium channel expression and localization may be involved in some pathological pain syndromes. SNS, a tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTX-R) sodium channel, is preferentially expressed in small dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, many of which are nociceptive. TTX-R sodium currents and SNS mRNA expression have been shown to be modulated by nerve growth factor (NGF) in vitro and in vivo. To determine whether SNS expression and TTX-R currents in DRG neurons are affected by reduced levels of systemic NGF, we immunized adult rats with NGF, which causes thermal hypoalgesia in rats with high antibody titers to NGF. DRG neurons cultured from rats with high antibody titers to NGF, which do not bind the isolectin IB4 (IB4(-)) but do express TrkA, were studied with whole cell patch-clamp and in situ hybridization. Mean TTX-R sodium current density was decreased from 504 +/- 77 pA/pF to 307 +/- 61 pA/pF in control versus NGF-deprived neurons, respectively. In comparison, the mean TTX-sensitive sodium current density was not significantly different between control and NGF-deprived neurons. Quantification of SNS mRNA hybridization signal showed a significant decrease in the signal in NGF-deprived neurons compared with the control neurons. The data suggest that NGF has a major role in the maintenance of steady-state levels of TTX-R sodium currents and SNS mRNA in IB4(-) DRG neurons in adult rats in vivo.  (+info)

(4/3919) Human nerve growth factor beta (hNGF-beta): mammary gland specific expression and production in transgenic rabbits.

Transgenic rabbits carrying gene constructs encoding human nerve growth factor beta (hNGF-beta) cDNA were generated. Expression of hNGF-beta mRNA was restricted to the mammary gland of lactating rabbits. Western Blot analysis revealed a polypeptide of 13.2 kDa in the milk of transgenic animals. hNGF-beta was purified from the milk by a two-step chromatographic procedure. Electrospray mass spectroscopy analysis of purified hNGF-beta depicted a molecular weight of 13,261 Da per subunit. The biological activity of the hNGF-beta was tested using PC12W2 cells and cultures of dorsal root ganglion neurons from chicken embryos. Crude defatted milk from transgenic animals and purified hNGF-beta demonstrated full biological activity when compared to commercial recombinant hNGF-beta.  (+info)

(5/3919) Expression of alpha2-adrenergic receptors in rat primary afferent neurones after peripheral nerve injury or inflammation.

1. Immunocytochemistry with polyclonal antibodies directed against specific fragments of intracellular loops of alpha2A- and alpha2C-adrenergic receptors (alpha2A-AR, alpha2C-AR) was used to explore the possibility that expression of these receptors in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurones of rat alters as a result of peripheral nerve injury or localized inflammation. 2. Small numbers of neurones with positive alpha2A-AR immunoreactivity (alpha2A-AR-IR) were detected in DRG from normal animals or contralateral to nerve lesions. In contrast, after complete or partial sciatic nerve transection the numbers of ipsilateral L4 and L5 DRG somata expressing alpha2A-AR-IR sharply increased (>5-fold). There was no discernible change in the number of DRG neurones exhibiting alpha2A-AR-IR innervating a region in association with localized chemically induced inflammation. 3. After nerve injury, double labelling with Fluoro-Gold, a marker of retrograde transport from transected fibres, or by immunoreactivity for c-jun protein, an indicator of injury and regeneration, suggested that many of the neurones expressing alpha2A-AR-IR were uninjured by the sciatic lesions. 4. In general the largest proportionate increase in numbers of neurones labelled by alpha2A-AR-IR after nerve lesions appeared in the medium-large diameter range (31-40 microm), a group principally composed of cell bodies of low threshold mechanoreceptors. The number of small diameter DRG neurones labelled by alpha2A-AR-IR, a category likely to include somata of nociceptors, also increased but proportionately less. 5. Relatively few DRG neurones exhibited alpha2C-AR-IR; this population did not appear to change after either nerve lesions or inflammation. 6. These observations are considered in relation to effects of nerve injury on excitation of primary afferent neurones by sympathetic activity or adrenergic agents, sympathetically related neuropathy and reports of sprouting of sympathetic fibres in DRG.  (+info)

(6/3919) The distribution of zinc selenite and expression of metallothionein-III mRNA in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia of the rat suggest a role for zinc in sensory transmission.

Zinc appears to play a role in synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. We tested the hypothesis that zinc is similarly involved in sensory transmission by determining whether vesicular zinc and metallothionein-III (MT-III), a zinc-binding protein, are localized in rat primary afferent neurons. MT-III mRNA, measured using RT-PCR, and MT-III immunoreactivity, were both present in the spinal cord as well as the thoracic and lumbar dorsal root ganglia (DRG). At a time (24 hr) that allows retrograde transport of zinc selenite to cell bodies, only small-diameter neurons and neurons scattered throughout lamina V of the spinal cord were stained by sodium selenite injected intrathecally. This stain disappeared if a ligature was placed on the dorsal root to block axonal transport, demonstrating that these cells are, in fact, zinc-containing primary afferent neurons. When assessed 1 hr after sodium selenite, stain was distributed throughout the neuropil of the spinal cord, especially in lamina III and the area surrounding the central canal. Even in rhizotomized animals, large- and small-diameter DRG neuronal cell bodies were also stained with either selenite (1 hr) or 6-methoxy 8-para-toluene sulfonamide quinoline (TSQ). Paradoxically, this unique pool of zinc was eliminated in large-diameter DRG neurons after neonatal capsaicin treatment, which had no effect on selenite stain or MT-III mRNA content in small-diameter DRG neurons. In summary, we demonstrate that there is a population of capsaicin-insensitive small-diameter primary afferent neurons that are zinc-containing. In addition, there is a unique pool of capsaicin-sensitive zinc that is associated with large-diameter cell bodies.  (+info)

(7/3919) Chemical signaling from colonic smooth muscle cells to DRG neurons in culture.

Transduction mechanisms between target cells within the intestinal wall and peripheral terminals of extrinsic primary afferent neurons are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to characterize the interactions between smooth muscle cells from the rat distal colon and lumbar dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in coculture. DRG neurons visually appeared to make contact with several myocytes. We show that brief mechanical stimulation of these myocytes resulted in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) transients that propagated into 57% of the contacting neurites. Direct mechanical stimulation of DRG neurites cultured without smooth muscle had no effect. We also show that colonic smooth muscle cells express multiple connexin mRNAs and that these connexins formed functional gap junctions, as evidenced by the intercellular transfer of Lucifer yellow. Furthermore, thapsigargin pretreatment and neuronal heparin injection abolished the increase in neurite [Ca2+]i, indicating that the neuronal Ca2+ signal was triggered by inositol 1,4, 5-trisphosphate-mediated Ca2+ release from intracellular stores. Our results provide evidence for intercellular chemical communication between DRG neurites and intestinal smooth muscle cells that mediates the exchange of second messenger molecules between different cell types.  (+info)

(8/3919) Cell type-specific ATP-activated responses in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons.

1. The aim of our study is to clarify the relationship between expression pattern of P2X receptors and the cell type of male adult rat (Wistar) dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. We identified the nociceptive cells of acutely dissociated DRG neurons from adult rats type using capsaicin sensitivity. 2. Two types of ATP-activated currents, one with fast, the other with slow desensitization, were found under voltage-clamp conditions. In addition, cells with fast but not slow desensitization responded to capsaicin, indicating that there was a relationship between current kinetics and capsaicin-sensitivity. 3. Both types of neurons were responsive to ATP and alpha, beta methylene-ATP (alpha,betameATP). The concentration of alpha,(beta)meATP producing half-maximal activation (EC50) of neurons with fast desensitization was less (11 microM) than that of neurons with slow desensitization (63 microM), while the Hill coefficients were similar. Suramin and pyridoxal-phosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulphonic acid tetrasodium (PPADS) antagonized alpha,betameATP-induced currents in both types of neurons. 4. In situ hybridization revealed that small cells of the DRG predominantly expressed mRNAs of P2X3 and medium-sized cells expressed mRNAs of P2X2 and P2X3. In contrast, both of mRNAs were not detected in large cells of the DRG. 5. These results suggest that capsaicin-sensitive, small-sized DRG neurons expressed mainly the homomeric P2X3 subunit and that capsaicin-insensitive, medium-sized DRG neurons expressed the heteromultimeric receptor with P2X2 and P2X3.  (+info)