Activating transcription factor 3 induction in sympathetic neurons after axotomy: response to decreased neurotrophin availability.
Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) is induced in a high proportion of axotomized sensory and motor neurons after sciatic nerve transection. In the present study, we looked at the expression of this factor in the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) after axotomy and after other manipulations that induce certain aspects of the cell body response to axotomy. Sympathetic ganglia from intact rats and mice exhibit only a very occasional neuronal nucleus with activating transcription factor 3-like immunoreactivity (ATF3-IR); however, as early as 6 h and as late as 3 weeks postaxotomy, many of the neurons showed intense ATF3-IR. A second population of cells had smaller and generally less intensely stained nuclei, and at least some of these cells were satellite cells. Lesions distal to the SCG induced by administration of 6-hydroxydopamine or unilateral removal of the salivary glands produced increases in ATF3-IR similar to those seen after proximal axotomy, indicating that this response is not strictly dependent on the distance of the lesion from the cell body. Two proposed signals for triggering ATF3 expression were examined: reduction in nerve growth factor (NGF) availability and induction of the cytokine leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). While administration of an antiserum raised against NGF to intact animals induced ATF3-IR, induction of ATF3-IR after axotomy was not reduced in LIF null mutant mice. Since axotomy, 6-hydroxydopamine, and sialectomy are known to decrease the concentration of NGF in the SCG, our data suggest that these decreases in NGF lead to increases in ATF3-IR. Furthermore, since the number of neurons in the SCG expressing ATF3-IR was greater after axotomy than after antiserum against NGF treatment, this raises the possibility that decreased NGF is not the only process regulating ATF3 expression after axotomy.
Hyatt Sachs, H; Schreiber, RC; Shoemaker, SE; Sabe, A; Reed, E; Zigmond, RE
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