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Nature. 1990 Feb 8;343(6258):564-7.

Vasoactive intestinal peptide regulates mitosis, differentiation and survival of cultured sympathetic neuroblasts.

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Department of Neurology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, New York 10021.


Although acute, millisecond-to-millisecond actions of neurotransmitters are well documented, diverse longer-term effects have been discovered only recently. Emerging evidence indicates that these signals regulate a variety of neuronal processes, from phenotypic expression to neurite outgrowth. Here we show that a single putative transmitter, vasoactive intestinal peptide, can exert multiple, long-term effects simultaneously: it stimulates mitosis, promotes neurite outgrowth and enhances survival of sympathetic neuron precursors in culture. As the peptide seems to be a normal presynaptic transmitter in the sympathetic system, synaptic transmission may exert hitherto unexpected effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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