Differential Trk expression in explant and dissociated trigeminal ganglion cell cultures

Genc B., Ulupinar E. , Erzurumlu R.

JOURNAL OF NEUROBIOLOGY, vol.64, no.2, pp.145-156, 2005 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 64 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/neu.20134
  • Title of Journal : JOURNAL OF NEUROBIOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.145-156


During embryonic development, expression of neurotrophin receptor tyrosine kinases (irks) by sensory ganglia is continuously and dynamically regulated. Neurotrophin signaling promotes selective survival and axonal differentiation of sensory neurons. In embryonic day (E) 15 rat trigeminal ganglion (TG), NGF receptor TrkA is expressed by small diameter neurons, NT-3 receptor TrkC and BDNF receptor TrkB are expressed by large diameter neurons. Organotypic explant and dissociated cell cultures of the TG (and dorsal root ganglia) are commonly used to assay neurotrophin effects on developing sensory neurons. In this study, we compared Trk expression in E15 rat TG explant and dissociated cell cultures with or without neurotrophin treatment. Only a subset of TG cells express each of the three Trk receptors in wholemount explant cultures as in vivo conditions. In contrast, all TG neurons co-express all three Trk receptors upon dissociation, regardless of neurotrophin treatment. Neurons cultured in low concentrations of one neurotrophin first, and switched to higher concentrations of another after 1 day, survive and display morphological characteristics of neurons cultured in a mixture of both neurotrophins for 3 days. Our results indicate that wholemount explant cultures of sensory ganglia represent in vivo conditions in terms of Trk expression patterns; whereas dissociation dramatically alters Trk expression by primary sensory neurons. (C) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.