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Neuron. 1999 Feb;22(2):253-63.

Gene targeting reveals a critical role for neurturin in the development and maintenance of enteric, sensory, and parasympathetic neurons.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.

Abstract

Neurturin (NTN) is a neuronal survival factor that activates the Ret tyrosine kinase in the presence of a GPI-linked coreceptor (either GFR alpha1 or GFR alpha2). Neurturin-deficient (NTN-/-) mice generated by homologous recombination are viable and fertile but have defects in the enteric nervous system, including reduced myenteric plexus innervation density and reduced gastrointestinal motility. Parasympathetic innervation of the lacrimal and submandibular salivary gland is dramatically reduced in NTN-/- mice, indicating that Neurturin is a neurotrophic factor for parasympathetic neurons. GFR alpha2-expressing cells in the trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia are also depleted in NTN-/- mice. The loss of GFR alpha2-expressing neurons, in conjunction with earlier studies, provides strong support for GFR alpha2/Ret receptor complexes as the critical mediators of NTN function in vivo.

PMID:
10069332
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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