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Differential Loss of Spinal Sensory but Not Motor Neurons in the p75NTR Knockout Mouse

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Differential Loss of Spinal Sensory but Not Motor Neurons in the p75NTR Knockout Mouse

S S Murray et al. Neurosci Lett.

Abstract

Sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and motor neurons in the spinal cord express the 75 kDa low-affinity neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) during prenatal development. The p75NTR gene knockout mouse provides a unique opportunity to assess the role of p75NTR during this period. Quantitative analysis of the p75NTR knockout mouse revealed a significant developmental loss of sensory neurons. In the cervico-thoracic ganglia approximately 75% of the neurons are lost, while in the lumbar ganglia the loss is approximately 50%. In contrast, motor neurons were not lost in either the cervical or lumbar spinal cord. These data suggest that p75NTR is essential for the prenatal survival of a significant number of sensory, but not motor neurons.

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