Neuropilin-1 is expressed on adult mammalian dorsal root ganglion neurons and mediates semaphorin3a/collapsin-1-induced growth cone collapse by small diameter sensory afferents

Mol Cell Neurosci. 1999 Oct-Nov;14(4-5):317-26. doi: 10.1006/mcne.1999.0786.


Neuropilin-1 on the growth cones of NGF-dependent embryonic dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons mediates the repulsive effects of secreted semaphorin3a, but its role in adult neurons is unknown. Here we show that most adult rat DRG neurons, regardless of cell diameter/afferent phenotype, express neuropilin-1 protein in vitro. However, the response of growth cones belonging to these neurons (induced by recombinant collapsin-1/semaphorin3a and blocked by the anti-neuropilin-1 antibody) was restricted to those of small cell body diameter (<30 microm), corresponding primarily to nociceptive sensory afferents. Neurotrophic factors had a differential effect on neuropilin-1 expression in vitro, with DRG neurons cultured in either NGF or GDNF expressing the highest levels on their neurites. These findings suggest that neuropilin-1-mediated repellent effects of semaphorins may regulate the behavior of nociceptive sensory axons in the adult as well as the embryonic peripheral nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Cell Size / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Ganglia, Spinal / cytology*
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Glycoproteins / pharmacology*
  • Growth Cones / drug effects
  • Growth Cones / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mammals
  • Nerve Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Nerve Growth Factors*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / pharmacology
  • Neurons, Afferent / chemistry
  • Neurons, Afferent / cytology
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism*
  • Neuropilin-1
  • Neurotrophin 3 / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Semaphorin-3A


  • Gdnf protein, rat
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Glycoproteins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neurotrophin 3
  • Semaphorin-3A
  • Neuropilin-1
  • Nerve Growth Factor