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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Feb;83(3):817-21.

Development and regional expression of beta nerve growth factor messenger RNA and protein in the rat central nervous system.


The presence of nerve growth factor (NGF) mRNA and protein in the rat central nervous system is documented. Blot-hybridization analysis showed an abundance of NGF mRNA in the hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and olfactory bulb. Enzyme immunoassay confirmed significant levels of a NGF-like protein in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Bioassay of a NGF-like immunoaffinity-purified protein from these regions was physiologically indistinguishable from NGF. Immunohistochemistry revealed a widespread distribution of NGF-like reactivity in the adult brain, preferentially in fiber tracts. NGF mRNA accumulation began at birth, with adult levels reached 3 weeks postnatally. Enzyme immunoassay detected the presence of a NGF-like protein in the embryonic rat brain. Postnatally, the level of NGF-like protein reached a maximum at 3 weeks. Additionally, a distinct fetal form of NGF may exist.

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