Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Cell Biol. 1996 Jul;134(2):487-97.

Cutaneous overexpression of NT-3 increases sensory and sympathetic neuron number and enhances touch dome and hair follicle innervation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington 40536, USA. kmalbe00@pop.uky.edu


Target-derived influences of nerve growth factor on neuronal survival and differentiation are well documented, though effects of other neurotrophins are less clear. To examine the influence of NT-3 neurotrophin overexpression in a target tissue of sensory and sympathetic neurons, transgenic mice were isolated that overexpress NT-3 in the epidermis. Overexpression of NT-3 led to a 42% increase in the number of dorsal root ganglia sensory neurons, a 70% increase in the number of trigeminal sensory neurons, and a 32% increase in sympathetic neurons. Elevated NT-3 also caused enlargement of touch dome mechanoreceptor units, sensory end organs innervated by slowly adapting type 1 (SA1) neurons. The enlarged touch dome units of the transgenics had an increased number of associated Merkel cells, cells at which SA1s terminate. An additional alteration of skin innervation in NT-3 transgenics was an increased density of myelinated circular endings associated with the piloneural complex. The enhancement of innervation to the skin was accompanied by a doubling in the number of sensory neurons expressing trkC. In addition, measures of nerve fibers in cross-sectional profiles of cutaneous saphenous nerves of transgenics showed a 60% increase in myelinated fibers. These results indicate that in vivo overexpression of NT-3 by the epidermis enhances the number of sensory and sympathetic neurons and the development of selected sensory endings of the skin.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk