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J Neurobiol. 1993 Sep;24(9):1207-14.

Different forms of the neurotrophin receptor trkB mRNA predominate in rat retina and optic nerve.

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Centre for Research in Neuroscience, Montreal General Hospital Research Institute and McGill University, Qu├ębec, Canada.


The expression of TrkB mRNAs was investigated in rat retina and optic nerve. A 11.5 kb transcript that encodes full-length TRKB was found to predominate in Northern blots of retinal RNA. By in situ hybridization, this trkB expression was concentrated in the ganglion cell and inner nuclear layers. Furthermore, an antibody to the full-length TRKB immunostained retinal ganglion cells and their axons. In contrast, Northern blots of optic nerve RNA showed a prominent 9.5 kb band that encoded a form of the TRKB receptor lacking the tyrosine kinase domain. This species was also detected in both the sciatic nerve and cultured astrocytes and C6 glioma cells. These results suggest that neurons express the full-length TRKB containing the tyrosine kinase domain, while non-neuronal cells express the truncated form of the receptor. These two classes of TRKB may mediate different neurotrophic actions in the retina and optic nerve.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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