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The role of glial cells in influencing neurite extension by dorsal root ganglion cells

  • Kai-Yu Ng (a1), Yung H. Wong (a2) and Helen Wise (a1)
Abstract

When pretreated with pertussis toxin (PTX), the neurites of adult rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells in mixed cell cultures retract over a period of 2 h following the initial stimulus of removal from the cell culture incubator for brief periods of observation. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether this PTX-dependent response was specific to any one of the three subpopulations of DRG neurons. However, no neurite retraction response was observed in neuron-enriched populations of cells, or in cultures enriched in isolectin B4 (IB4)-positive neurons or in IB4-negative neurons. But, the addition of non-neuronal cells, and/or medium conditioned by non-neuronal cells, was sufficient to restore the PTX-dependent neurite retraction response, but only in large diameter IB4-negative neurons. In conclusion, we have identified a regulatory response, mediated by Gi/o-proteins, which prevents retraction of neurites in large diameter IB4-negative cells of adult rat DRG. The non-neuronal cells of adult rat DRG constitutively release factor/s that can stimulate neurite retraction of a subset of isolated DRG neurons, but this property of non-neuronal cells is only observed when the Gi/o-proteins of large diameter IB4-negative cells are inhibited.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Helen Wise, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China phone: +852 2603 6849 fax: +852 2603 5139 email: helenwise@cuhk.edu.hk
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