The immunocytochemical localization of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the embryonic mouse has been examined using correlative light and electron microscopic procedures. In flat-embedded thick sections, primary sensory neurons of the olfactory pathway were clearly visible by their high level of NGF-like immunoreactivity. When ultrathin sections were examined under the electron microscope, the HRP reaction product present in the nasal epithelium was confined to the cytoplasm of the chemoreceptor cells, including the dendrites projecting into the nasal cavity. The axons projecting to the olfactory bulb and axon bundles within the bulb were also stained specifically for NGF. The reaction product did not appear to be associated with any particular subcellular structure. Neither the columnar supporting cells nor the basal precursor cells showed any evidence of immunoreactivity. No evidence was found for the presence of NGF in cells such as epithelial or glial cells within the immediate environment of the receptor neurons. These first subcellular localization studies indicate the presence of high levels of NGF in neurons not known to be sensitive to the trophic molecule.
- Nerve growth factor
- Ultrastructural localization