Brain Repair pp 113-131 | Cite as

Functions of NGF on Central Cholinergic Neurons

Part of the Wenner-Gren Center International Symposium Series book series (WGS)


A number of studies have shown that NGF occurs in and is produced by both the developing and adult CNS. Supporting results obtained from in vitro developmental studies, NGF infusion to neonatal rats increases ChAT content in the basal forebrain and septum (Mobley et al. 1985, 1986; Johnson et al. 1987). NGF also appears to play a prominent role in the development of the septohippocampal cholinergic projection. The septohippocampal projection in the rat develops from embryonic day 20 to postnatal day 14 (Milner et al. 1983), providing the source of all extrinsic cholinergic innervation to the hippocampal formation. Total NGF content and NGF mRNA in the hippocampal formation rise just prior to developmental rises in ChAT activity during development, however, suggesting a role for NGF in the guidance and support of approaching septal cholinergic fibers (Large et al. 1986; Whiltemore et al. 1986). NGFr content (total protein; Eckenstcin, 1988; Yan and Johnson, 1988), NGFr mRNA (Buck et al. 1987), total NGF content, but not NGF mRNA (Whittemore et al. 1986), rise during embryonic and neonatal basal forebrain development, suggesting that these regions might be preparing to contact a source of, and retrogradely transport, NGF.


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