Neurotrophic factors are required by mature sympathetic neurons for survival, transmission and connectivity

Robert A. Rush, Edward Chie, Dennis Liu, Azita Tafreshi, Christian Zettler, Xin Fu Zhou

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)


    1. Two neuronal growth factors, nerve growth factor (NGF) and neurotrophin 3 (NT3), have been studied for their action on the developing and mature sympathetic nervous system. 2. Antibodies to each factor have proved useful as reagents for the detection and quantification of NGF and NT3. They have also proved valuable in uncovering the functional roles of each factor by their ability to neutralize the endogenous molecules. 3. Nerve growth factor acts on postnatal neurons to control neurotransmission, connectivity and survival. Like NGF, NT3 is synthesized by effector tissues and is retrogradely transported by post-ganglionic neurons to prevent cell death. However, the two factors have been shown to have quite distinct functions in mature neurons, indicating the existence of different signalling pathways. This differential action extends to secondary influences on satellite glin. 4. Pathological consequences result from excessive growth factor synthesis leading, in the hypertensive rat, to hyperinnervation and elevated blood pressure. Satellite glial cell synthesis of the factors and their receptors following peripheral nerve damage appears to be responsible for the establishment of inappropriate neuronal connections between sympathetic nerve terminals and sensory somata. 5. It is concluded that these potent factors control, by both coincident and independent mechanisms, sympathetic neuronal function throughout the life of the animal.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)549-555
    Number of pages7
    JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


    • Nerve growth factor
    • Neuronal survival
    • Neurotrophin 3
    • Sympathetic nerve function
    • Sympathetic neurons


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