Level of p75 receptor expression in sensory ganglia is modulated by NGF level in the target tissue

Patrick H. Kitzman, Teresa N. Perrone, Ann M. LeMaster, Brian M. Davis, Kathryn M. Albers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Neurotrophins play an essential role in sensory development by providing trophic support to neurons that innervate peripheral targets. Nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin-3, neurotrophin-4, and brain-derived neurotrophin exert their survival effect by binding to two transmembrane receptor types: trk receptors, which exhibit binding specificity, and the p75(NTR) receptor, which binds all neurotrophins. To determine how target-derived neurotrophins affect sensory neuron development and function, we used transgenic mice that overexpress NGF in the skin to examine the impact of NGF overexpression on receptor expression. Previous studies of trk expression in trigeminal ganglia of adult NGF transgenics showed that the percentage of trkA neurons doubled and their number increased fivefold. The present study focused on the p75 receptor and shows that the percentage of neurons expressing p75(NTR) also increase in NGF ganglia, but only by 10%. This increase did not encompass the small, BS-IB-4 isolectinpositive cells as they remained p75 negative in transgenic ganglia. Interestingly, levels of trkA protein were not increased on a per-cell level, whereas levels of p75(NTR) increased nearly threefold. These results show that in sensory systems, target-derived NGF modulates the level of p75(NTR) receptor expression, and in so doing, may act to regulate the formation of functional receptor complexes and subsequent trophic action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-270
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 5 1998


  • Nerve growth factor
  • Neurotrophin
  • Neurotrophin receptor
  • Target-derived
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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