No further loss of dorsal root ganglion cells after axotomy in p75 neurotrophin receptor knockout mice

Bodil Sørensen, Trine Tandrup, Martin Koltzenburg, Johannes Jacobsen

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The role of the p75 neurotrophin receptor for neuronal survival after nerve crush was studied in L5 dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of knockout mice and controls with assumption-free stereological methods. Numbers of neuronal A- and B-cells were obtained using the optical fractionator and optical disector techniques. At birth, the total number of DRG neurons was 10,000 ±2,600 in control mice compared with 5,100 ±1,300 in p75 knockout mice. During postnatal development, 1,400 neuronal B-cell bodies were lost in p75 knockouts (2P ± 0.±05) and 1,100 in controls (NS), whereas the A-cell population remained stable. After a sciatic nerve crush, the total neuron loss in controls was 15.4% ±3.5% (2P ±0.05) and 22.7% 5.1% (2P <0.05) at days 14 and 42, respectively. In contrast, there was no loss in total number of neurons after crush in p75 knockout mice. Neuronal A-cell number was unchanged after the crush in p75 knockouts as well as in controls at both times. At 14 days, the population of
B-cells was reduced by 24.8% 3.6% in controls and by 6.1% ±3.5% in p75 knockouts, this difference being significant (2P ±0.001). At 42 days, the B-cell loss was 29.6% ± 5.5% in controls and 4.2% ±6.4% in p75 knockouts (2P ± 0.001). In conclusion, the lack of the p75 receptor results in neuronal DRG cells that are resistant to nerve injury, pointing to a role for the receptor in apoptosis.
TidsskriftThe Journal of Comparative Neurology
Sider (fra-til)242-250.
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2003


  • Axotomy
  • neuronal survival
  • regeneration
  • stereology