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Neurochem Res. 1987 Apr;12(4):393-7.

Nerve growth factor levels in mouse serum: variations due to stress.


The presence of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the serum of adult male mice was assayed using the chick embryo dorsal root ganglion (DRG) bioassay technique in a serum free N1 supplemented medium. Wide variations in the serum-induced nerve fiber outgrowth response were observed when serum was obtained from animals maintained four per cage. Of 64 mice tested, sera of 7 animals induced a profound nerve fiber outgrowth response while the sera of 57 mice failed to show a similar response. In animals kept in isolation for 7 days prior to the start of the experiment, aggression provoked a marked increase in serum NGF levels. In contrast to the sera of aggression-unprovoked mice, the sera of all aggression-provoked mice stimulated a dense nerve fiber outgrowth. The sera of both groups of mice stimulated an intense proliferation and migration of nonneuronal cells. The neurite outgrowth responses elicited by sera from aggression-provoked and unprovoked mice were completely inhibited by the rabbit anti-NGF antiserum. In conclusion, both crowded housing and aggression in mice may provoke an elevation in the serum NGF levels that can be confirmed by the ganglion bioassay technique.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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