The effects of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor on axonal outgrowth and apoptosis were studied in vitro using explanted dorsal root ganglia-peripheral nerve preparations of adult mice. In gels of matrigel or collagen type 1, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor increased both the numbers and lengths of axons growing out of explanted preparations, although less effectively than nerve growth factor. Stimulation of axonal outgrowth by glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor was unaffected by K252a, a protein kinase inhibitor which blocks the effects of nerve growth factor and other neurotrophins acting through trk receptors. To determine the phenotype of the axons responding to glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, preparations were stained using antibodies to trkA, calcitonin gene- related peptide, 200,000 mol. wt phosphorylated neurofilaments (monoclonal antibody RT97) and the lectin Bandeiraea simplicifolia 1B4. RT97 recognizes large diameter neurons whilst 1B4 labels small diameter neurons which broadly do not express neurotrophin receptors. In preparations cultured with glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, significant increases in the numbers of outgrowing axons labelled with RT97 and 1B4 were observed but the numbers of calcitonin gene-related peptide-positive axons were not significantly increased and their staining intensity was generally faint. In separate preparations it was found that in the presence of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, the majority of the 1B4 labelled axons were trkA negative, indicating that this factor can stimulate axonal growth in this population of neurons which do not respond to the neurotrophins. Spontaneous apoptosis in neurons and satellite cells occurs in explanted preparations of the type used in the present investigations, but in cryostat sections of preparations cultured in the presence of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, the incidence of apoptosis was lower than in control preparations which had been cultured in the absence of this factor. This suggests that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor may promote survival of some adult sensory neurons in vitro.
|Status||Published - 1997 okt. 17|