Interferon suppresses sympathetic neuronal cell death caused by nerve growth factor deprivation

J Neurochem. 1990 Aug;55(2):436-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1990.tb04155.x.


Cultured rat sympathetic neurons die within 48 h after being deprived of nerve growth factor. Addition of interferons (IFN-alpha/beta or IFN-gamma) prevented the cell death in a dose-dependent manner. Upon longer periods of nerve growth factor deprivation, IFNs failed to maintain survival. Thus, IFNs retarded neuronal death, but did not prevent it. Ligand binding, autoradiography, and cross-linking experiments demonstrated the presence of specific IFN-gamma receptors on sympathetic neurons similar to those seen on other cell types. The possible relationships of the death-suppressing actions of IFNs are compared to the mechanisms of the antiviral or antiproliferative actions of IFNs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenylate Kinase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / cytology*
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / embryology
  • Interferon Type I / pharmacology*
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / immunology
  • Nerve Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Receptors, Interferon
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Interferon Type I
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Interferon
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Adenylate Kinase