Artemin has potent neurotrophic actions on injured C-fibres

J Peripher Nerv Syst. 2006 Dec;11(4):330-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8027.2006.00106.x.


In this study, we have investigated the effects of artemin (ARTN), one of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family of neurotrophic factors, on C-fibres following nerve injury in the adult rat. GDNF family receptor alpha (GFRalpha) 3, the ligand binding domain of the ARTN receptor, is expressed in 34% of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells, predominantly in the peptidergic population of C-fibres and in a proportion of the isolectin B4 (IB4)-binding population. Interestingly, only 30% of GFRalpha3-expressing DRG cells co-expressed RET (the signal transducing domain). In agreement with previous studies, treatment with ARTN prevented many of the nerve injury-induced changes in the histochemistry of both the peptidergic and the IB4-binding populations of small, but not large, diameter DRG cells. In addition, ARTN treatment maintained C-fibre conduction velocity, and C-fibre evoked substance P release within the dorsal horn following nerve injury. ARTN was also protective following capsaicin treatment, which produces selective C-fibre injury. Given the potent neurotrophic actions of ARTN on C-fibres, it may therefore provide potential for the treatment of nerve injury, particularly in the maintenance of small fibre function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axotomy
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Ganglia, Spinal / drug effects
  • Ganglia, Spinal / injuries
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Receptors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Nerve Regeneration / drug effects
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Neural Conduction / drug effects
  • Neurons, Afferent / drug effects*
  • Neurons, Afferent / pathology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Substance P / drug effects
  • Substance P / metabolism


  • ARTN protein, human
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Receptors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Substance P