Denervation, but not decentralization, reduces nerve growth factor content of the mesenteric artery

Dennis T. Liu, Michelle T. Reid, Diana C.Mc L. Bridges, Robert A. Rush

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    23 Citations (Scopus)


    In the present study we applied an improved nerve growth factor (NGF) extraction method to examine the effects of denervation and sympathetic decentralization on NGF levels in vascular tissue. Adult male Wistar Kyoto rats underwent mesenteric arterial denervation or splanchnic nerve transection. Four days after operation, animals were killed, and the mesenteric artery and coeliac-superior mesenteric ganglia were removed. The arterial adventitia was stripped from the media to measure NGF levels in nerve and smooth muscle separately. A high concentration of NGF was detected in the normal artery, 90% of which was in the adventitial layer. Surgical denervation significantly reduced the NGF levels in the artery and ganglia by 78 and 71%, respectively. However, within the artery the level of NGF was reduced in the adventitia but not in the media. Thus, the large reduction of NGF content resulted from the loss of nerve plexus from the artery. In contrast, decentralization did not alter the NGF content in the artery, in either the adventitia or media. Our results are in marked contrast to previous studies reporting elevated levels of NGF following denervation. This discrepancy is explained by the ability of our new procedure to extract much greater amounts of NGF from the tissue.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2295-2299
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996


    • Denervation
    • Immunoassay
    • Mesenteric artery
    • Nerve growth factor
    • Sympathetic decentralization


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