Enteric glial cells express full-length TrkB and depend on TrkB expression for normal development

Neurosci Lett. 2009 Apr 17;454(1):16-21. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.02.051. Epub 2009 Feb 27.


The embryonic development of the enteric nervous system (ENS) from neural crest precursor cells requires neurotrophic signaling. Neurotrophins (NTs) are a family of growth factors that bind Trk receptors to signal diverse functions, including development and maintenance of different cell populations in the peripheral nervous system. In this study we investigated the expression and cell localization of TrkB, the high affinity receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor and NT-4, in the murine ENS using Western blot and immunohistochemistry. The results demonstrate that enteric glial cells within the ENS express full-length TrkB at all stages tested. The ENS of TrkB deficient mice have reduced expression of glial cell markers, and a disarrangement of glial cells and the plexular neuropil. These results strongly suggest TrkB has essential roles in the normal development and maintenance of glial cells in the ENS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Enteric Nervous System / embryology*
  • Enteric Nervous System / growth & development
  • Enteric Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Neuroglia / cytology*
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Receptor, trkB / biosynthesis*
  • Receptor, trkB / genetics


  • Receptor, trkB