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J Neurobiol. 1993 Dec;24(12):1626-41.

Neurotrophin-3 affects proliferation and differentiation of distinct neural crest cells and is present in the early neural tube of avian embryos.

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Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem-Hadassah Medical School, Israel.


Neurotrophin-3 is mitogenic for cultured quail neural crest cells (Kalcheim et al., 1992, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89:1661-1665). We now report that neurotrophin-3 also influences the survival and/or differentiation of a subset of postmitotic neural crest precursors into neurons, provided these progenitors are grown on a cellular substrate. When cultured for 1 day on monolayers of NT-3-producing, chinese hamster ovary cells, 59% of the neural crest clusters growing on the transfected line revealed the presence of intense neuronal outgrowth, compared to 25% of that in controls. Moreover, dissociated neural crest cells grown for 20 h on top of mesodermal cells in the presence of various concentrations of purified recombinant neurotrophin-3 displayed a dose-dependent increase in neuronal number. Localization experiments using specific polyclonal antibodies, revealed that neurotrophin-3 is confined to neuroepithelial cells of quail neural tubes in situ on E2 and E3, and to E2 neural tubes grown in culture for 24 h. At this stage, neural crest cells and somites were negative. At later stages, staining was likewise apparent in peripheral nerves and dorsal root ganglia. We, therefore, propose that NT-3, a factor that is expressed in the early avian central nervous system, has multiple effects both on the proliferation and differentiation of distinct neural crest cells, which depend on the state of commitment of the responsive progenitors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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