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Neurosci Lett. 1998 Oct 16;255(2):87-90.

Nerve growth factor evokes hyperalgesia in mice lacking the low-affinity neurotrophin receptor p75.

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Department of Neurology, University of W├╝rzburg, Germany.


Endogenous nerve growth factor (NGF) has been shown to be an important mediator of inflammatory pain and exogenous application of recombinant human NGF (rhNGF) produces pain and hyperalgesia in animals and humans. Since NGF can act through two receptors types, the high affinity tyrosine kinase A (trkA) receptor and the low affinity p75 receptor, we used transgenic mice lacking p75 to analyse the relative importance of these receptors. After systemic injection of rhNGF (5 mg/ kg), pharmacokinetic studies revealed similar serum levels and elimination profiles of exogenously administered rhNGF in both strains of mice. Although animals lacking p75 have increased mechanical and thermal withdrawal thresholds they developed both heat and mechanical hyperalgesia after systemic injection of rhNGF whose magnitude did not differ significantly from wildtype animals. This means that NGF-induced hyperalgesia can occur in the absence of the p75 receptor and suggests that the trkA receptor is sufficient to mediate the acute noxious action of NGF.

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