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Neuroscience

P75 nerve growth factor receptor is important for retrograde transport of neurotrophins in adult cholinergic basal forebrain neurons.


PMID 10625055

Abstract

The role of the p75 nerve growth factor receptor in the retrograde transport of neurotrophins in the adult CNS was investigated by comparing the transport of 125I-labeled neurotrophins by normal and p75 nerve growth factor receptor-deficient cholinergic septohippocampal neurons. In control mice, nerve growth factor was selectively transported from the hippocampal formation to the cholinergic neurons in the septum. Nerve growth factor labeling was found in three to four times as many septal cholinergic neuronal cell bodies than labeling for neurotrophin-3 or neurotrophin-4/5, and transported brain-derived neurotrophic factor was barely detectable. Cells were considered as labeled when the number of grains per cell exceeded five times background. In p75 nerve growth factor receptor-deficient mice, the number of cholinergic neurons labeled with each of the neurotrophins was reduced by 85-95%. Retrograde labeling of septohippocampal neurons with Fluorogold was not obviously reduced in p75 nerve growth factor receptor-deficient mice, suggesting that general transport mechanisms were not impaired. Despite the reduced neurotrophin transport, cholinergic neurons of p75 nerve growth factor receptor-deficient mice were larger than controls and had an apparently normal density of immunostaining for choline acetyltransferase. Since nerve growth factor is reportedly involved in size regulation and choline acetyltransferase expression, this raises the possibility that the retrograde transport itself is not essential for these events. Thus, p75 nerve growth factor receptor plays an important, although not exclusive, role in the transport of neurotrophins by cholinergic basal forebrain neurons, and retrograde transport of nerve growth factor may not be needed for regulating certain cellular processes.