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Neuron. 1995 Mar;14(3):607-11.

A single pulse of nerve growth factor triggers long-term neuronal excitability through sodium channel gene induction.

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Department of Neurobiology and Behavior State University of New York at Stony Brook 11794-5230.


The continuous presence of nerve growth factor (NGF) is thought to be required for the elaboration of neuronal-like traits in PC12 cells. Surprisingly, we find that a 1 min exposure to NGF is sufficient to engage a longer-term genetic program leading to the acquisition of membrane excitability. Whereas continuous exposure to NGF causes the induction of a family of sodium channels, the effect of a brief exposure is to induce selectively expression of the peripheral nerve-type sodium channel gene PN1, through a distinct signaling pathway requiring immediate-early genes. A 1 min exposure of PC12 cells to interferon-gamma also causes PN1 gene induction, suggesting that the "triggered" NGF and interferon-gamma signaling pathways share common molecular intermediates.

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