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J Neurosci Res. 2011 Sep;89(9):1331-41. doi: 10.1002/jnr.22620. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Blocking p75 (NTR) receptors alters polyinnervationz of neuromuscular synapses during development.

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Histology and Neurobiology Unit (UHN), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Spain.


High-resolution immunohistochemistry shows that the receptor protein p75(NTR) is present in the nerve terminal, muscle cell, and glial Schwann cell at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of postnatal rats (P4-P6) during the synapse elimination period. Blocking the receptor with the antibody anti-p75-192-IgG (1-5 μg/ml, 1 hr) results in reduced endplate potentials (EPPs) in mono- and polyinnervated synapses ex vivo, but the mean number of functional inputs per NMJ does not change for as long as 3 hr. Incubation with exogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) for 1 hr (50 nM) resulted in a significant increase in the size of the EPPs in all nerve terminals, and preincubation with anti-p75-192-IgG prevented this potentiation. Long exposure (24 hr) in vivo of the NMJs to the antibody anti-p75-192-IgG (1-2 μg/ml) results in a delay of postnatal synapse elimination and even some regrowth of previously withdrawn axons, but also in some acceleration of the morphologic maturation of the postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) clusters. The results indicate that p75(NTR) is involved in both ACh release and axonal retraction during postnatal axonal competition and synapse elimination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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