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Neurosci Lett. 1998 Jul 17;251(1):53-6.

Glial overexpression of NGF enhances neuropathic pain and adrenergic sprouting into DRG following chronic sciatic constriction in mice.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


Adrenergic sprouts within axotomized dorsal root ganglia (DRG) may contribute to neuropathic pain, and may arise under the influence of nerve growth factor (NGF). We investigated effects of chronic constriction injury (CCI) on behavior and sprouting in mice in which NGF overexpression is driven by a glial protein (GFAP) promotor. GFAP-NGF mice were naturally hyperresponsive to radiant heat, and had enhanced ipsilateral responses to thermal and mechanical stimulation following CCI compared to wild-type mice. Sympathetic axons were already present in intact DRG of GFAP-NGF mice. Following CCI, sprouting in ipsilateral and to a lesser extent contralateral DRG occurred in both genotypes, but the sprout density 2 weeks post-lesion was much greater in GFAP-NGF mice. These results demonstrate a connection between the endogenous ectopic overexpression of NGF and (1) neuropathic pain behaviour and (2) sympathetic sprouting in the DRG.

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