Neurotrophin-4/5 (NT-4/5) increases adult rat retinal ganglion cell survival and neurite outgrowth in vitro

J Neurobiol. 1994 Aug;25(8):953-9. doi: 10.1002/neu.480250805.


Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival and neurite outgrowth were investigated in retinal explants from adult rats. Neurotrophin-4/5 (NT-4/5) caused dose-dependent increases in neurite outgrowth with one-half maximal effects at approximately 0.5 ng/ml and maximal effects at 5 ng/ml. In explants treated for 7 days, the actions of NT-4/5 were similar to those of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF); with either neurotrophin, nearly twice as many RGCs survived and there was a two- to threefold increase in the number of neurites formed by RGCs. Combinations of saturating concentrations of NT-4/5 and BDNF did not enhance these in vitro effects, implying that both neurotrophins share a common signaling pathway. In contrast, nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), or ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) appeared to exert minimal influences on RGC survival or neurite outgrowth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Nerve Crush
  • Nerve Growth Factors / pharmacology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / pharmacology
  • Neurites / drug effects*
  • Neurites / metabolism
  • Neurotrophin 3
  • Optic Nerve / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / drug effects*


  • Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neurotrophin 3
  • neurotrophin 5
  • neurotrophin 4