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Alterations in the neurotrophic factors BDNF, GDNF and CNTF in the regenerating olfactory system


Neurogenesis, axonal outgrowth and synapse formation are usually restricted to specific stages during central nervous system development, but the mature olfactory system maintains these capacities. The cycle of neuronal turnover can be experimentally induced by surgical ablation of the olfactory bulb (OB). We are interested in the growth factor regulation of these processes and the trophic role played by the target tissue, the OB. We studied the immunohistochemical expression of three neurotrophic factors, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) in the rat olfactory neuroepithelium (ON) and OB and in target-deprived ON at 1, 3 and 12 weeks post unilateral bulbectomy. We found BDNF immunoreactivity (IR) was restricted to the basal cells and did not alter postbulbectomy. GDNF-IR was expressed by mature olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), their axons and target cells in the OB in controls, but was absent from the ON postbulbectomy. Hence, the expression of GDNF by ORNs was found to be target-dependent. CNTF-IR was present in ORNs and their target cells in the OB, in basal cells and in some immature ORNs. Postbulbectomy, CNTF-IR was unaltered in the basal cells, and very low levels were detectable in maturing ORNs in the ON. Our results indicate that these three factors may contribute to the trophic regulation of this neuronal pathway in a coordinated fashion. Previous work has shown that BDNF promotes survival of ORNs in vitro, and TrkB expression has been found in both immature and mature ORNs. Hence, BDNF produced by basal cells may be acting locally on neurons expressing TrkB. Expression of CNTF by both the basal cells and the ORNs suggests that it may play an integral role in this neuronal differentiation pathway. Finally, the expression of GDNF exclusively by mature ORNs in the ON, its presence in the target cells in the OB and abolition of expression by bulbectomy, suggests that it may be target-derived. This provides a major mechanism by which the bulb could exert trophic influences on ORNs.

Type Journal
ISBN 0077-8923 (Print)
Authors Buckland, M. E.;Cunningham, A. M. :
Publisher Name ANN NY ACAD SCI
Published Date 1998-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 855
Published Pages 260-5
Status Published In-print