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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2002 Feb;19(2):186-200.

Upregulation of bradykinin B2 receptor expression by neurotrophic factors and nerve injury in mouse sensory neurons.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1QJ, United Kingdom.


Bradykinin B2 receptor mRNA was detected at low levels, both by RT-PCR and by in situ hybridization, in freshly isolated dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and in ganglia cultured in the absence of neurotrophic factors, but was strongly upregulated by culture in the presence of nerve growth factor (NGF). The effect of NGF is mediated via TrkA receptors. The related neurotrophins, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin-3, and neurotrophin-4, were ineffective in upregulating B2 mRNA, but a small upregulation was seen with the unrelated neurotrophin glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). Surface membrane B2 receptor expression, detected by immunofluorescence using a B2-specific antibody, was low in outgrowing axons cultured in the absence of neurotrophic factors, but was elevated by addition of NGF or GDNF. Conditioned media prepared by incubating injured nerve, skin, or muscle had a similar effect to NGF in upregulating B2 mRNA and protein expression, and the activity was largely removed by neutralization of NGF in the conditioned medium with an anti-NGF antibody. After nerve crush injury in vivo an enhancement in B2 mRNA expression was seen, peaking after 7 days and returning to precrush levels after 14 days. In all conditions tested, the proportion of neurons expressing B2 mRNA remained the same at around 23% of small neurons, suggesting that upregulation only occurs in the B2-positive neurons. These experiments show that NGF, and to a lesser extent GDNF, upregulates the expression of bradykinin B2 mRNA and B2 receptor protein in the surface membrane of DRG neurons and that NGF is an important factor responsible for upregulating bradykinin B2 receptor expression after nerve crush injury in vivo.

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