Nerve growth factor maintains regulation of intracellular calcium in neonatal sympathetic neurons but not in mature or aged neurons

Takayuki Ito, H. Niwa, M. Nagamatsu, T. Mitsuma, A. Miyakawa, David E Pleasure, G. Sobue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the effects of nerve growth factor on the regulation of intracellular calcium levels of superior cervical ganglion neurons in terms of postnatal maturation and ageing. Rat superior cervical ganglion neurons from three age groups (neonatal: 0 to one-day-old, young adult: three to six- month-old, and aged: more than 24-month-old) were dissociated and cultured in the presence or absence of 100 ng/ml of nerve growth factor. Intracellular free calcium levels ([Ca2+](i)) were measured using the fura-2 microfluorometry. Nerve growth factor treatment increased the resting [Ca2+](i) of neonatal neurons, although it had no effect on those of mature and aged neurons. We further examined the effects of nerve growth factor on the transient increase of [Ca2+](i) induced by methacholine (0.1 mM), caffeine (20 mM) or high-potassium medium (40 mM K+). Nerve growth factor pre-treatment significantly increased the population of neonatal superior cervical ganglion neurons which responded to methacholine, whereas almost all young adult and aged neurons responded to methacholine regardless of pre- treatment of nerve growth factor. Caffeine induced a cyclic alteration of [Ca2+](i) (oscillation) in 45% of the neonatal superior cervical ganglion neurons when they were maintained without nerve growth factor, but nerve growth factor treatment suppressed the oscillation to 10% of neurons. In contrast to neonatal neurons, all of the young adult and aged neurons showed only a transient increase of [Ca2+](i) in response to caffeine independent of nerve growth factor treatment. There was no significant effect of nerve growth factor on K+ depolarization-induced [Ca2+](i) elevations at any of the ages studied. Nerve growth factor did not substantially alter the pattern of the transients induced by these three agents. Our results indicate that exogenous nerve growth factor is necessary to maintain normal acetylcholine receptor-mediated [Ca2+](i) responses as well as Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release from intracellular calcium storage in neonatal superior cervical ganglion neurons. In mature superior cervical ganglion neurons, Ca2+ homeostasis becomes independent of exogenous nerve growth factor, and Ca2+ homeostasis and its independency are well preserved in aged neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-651
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroscience
Volume82
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 24 1997
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ageing
  • Apoptosis
  • Fura-2 microfluorometry
  • Intracellular calcium
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Rat sympathetic neuron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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