Nerve growth factor is a target derived growth factor. In the peripheral nervous system, it is produced by tissues innervated by the sympathetic nervous system and small sensory neurons. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that an alternate source of nerve growth factor must be available to support dorsal root ganglion neurons before they make connection with the target. Using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), we detected nerve growth factor mRNA at embryonic day 12 to 17, but not in adult dorsal root ganglia. In situ hybridization studies revealed positive staining in satellite/supportive cells juxtaposed to dorsal root ganglion neurons. Our study suggests that nerve growth factor from supporting cells may have a paracrine function during development of primary sensory neurons.
- Dorsal root ganglion
- Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction
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