Increase in neuronotrophic activity during the period of smooth muscle innervation

R. A. Rush, I. K. Abrahamson, S. Y. Murdoch, F. J. Renton, P. A. Wilson

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    7 Citations (Scopus)


    The expansor secundariorum is a unique smooth muscle of the avian wing that receives a dense sympathetic innervation and contains high concentrations of survival factors for sympathetic neurons. In the present study it has been possible to simultaneously examine the appearance of the neuronotrophic activity and the arrival of nerve fibres during the period of innervation. The results show that catecholamine containing nerve fibres can first be detected within the muscle on the fourteenth day of incubation (stage 40) followed by a rapid increase in the density of fibres during the next few days until the adult pattern is reached shortly before hatch. Biochemical estimation of the innervation process by measurement of dopamine β-hydroxylase activity was supported by the histochemical findings. Estimation of neuronotrophic activity revealed that muscle from stage 40 embryos contains only low levels of activity which increases rapidly as innervation proceeds and further, that this increase in neuronotrophic activity was directly correlated with the dopamine β-hydroxylase activities. Possible mechanisms regulating this dramatic increase in the specific activity of trophic factors are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)483-487
    JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1986


    • Avian
    • Catecholamine fluorescence
    • Development
    • Dopamine β-hydroxylase
    • Expansor secundariorum
    • Survival factors
    • Sympathetic


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