Neurotrophins rapidly modulate growth cone response to the axon guidance molecule, collapsin-1

Mol Cell Neurosci. 1998 May;11(1-2):1-8. doi: 10.1006/mcne.1998.0671.


We show that neurotrophins acting at the growth cone via Trk receptors can mediate rapid and distinct changes in growth cone response to collapsin-1, an inhibitory axon guidance molecule. We find that the sensitivity of growth cones of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons to collapsin-1 differs when chronically cultured in BDNF, NT-3, or NGF with those in BDNF most sensitive and those in NGF least sensitive. Further, growth cones chronically cultured in BDNF rapidly decrease their sensitivity to collapsin-1 with acute exposure to NGF. Conversely, growth cones chronically cultured in NGF rapidly increase their sensitivity to collapsin-1 with acute exposure to BDNF. These bidirectional effects of neurotrophins appear to be mediated by the neurotrophin-specific Trk receptors on the growth cones since most growth cones are immunopositive for TrkA and TrkB, the NGF and BDNF receptors, respectively, and k252a, a selective inhibitor of Trk-mediated responses to neurotrophins, diminishes collapsin-1-induced growth cone collapse. These findings indicate that the response of growth cones to axon guidance molecules is dynamic and can be rapidly and differentially modulated by neurotrophins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chickens
  • Ganglia, Spinal / growth & development
  • Ganglia, Spinal / physiology
  • Glycoproteins / physiology*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor / physiology
  • Semaphorin-3A
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Glycoproteins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor
  • Semaphorin-3A