Mechanisms of Growth Factor-Mediated Signal Transduction in PC12 Cells

Part of the Medical Intelligence Unit book series (MIU.LANDES)


One of the most important and pressing issues in developmental neurobiology is understanding how neurons are generated from uncommitted precursor populations and how they acquire the specific phenotypic characters which distinguish them as mature neurons. As described in chapter 5, there has been substantial progress in understanding the complex intercellular relationships and the role of neurotrophins and other growth factors during nervous system development. These studies have relied principally on the use of in vivo models and primary tissue culture systems. While illuminating, these studies are of limited utility in the investigation of the intracellular, biochemical mechanisms subserving the actions of growth factors that direct the differentiation of these precursor cells into neurons. These populations of precursor cells are reliant upon growth factors for their survival, and this dependency confounds the design of experiments to explore the mechanism of the growth factors actions. Moreover, the limited amount of material available for study and the absence of appropriate control populations of cells has impeded the progress in elucidating the cellular mechanisms responsible for the effects of growth factors.


PC12 Cell Nerve Growth Factor Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type Serum Response Factor PC12 Pheochromocytoma Cell 
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