Ciliary neurotrophic factor suppresses Phox2a in sympathetic neurons

Suzan Dziennis, Beth A. Habecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The cholinergic differentiation factor ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) suppresses noradrenergic properties while inducing cholinergic and peptidergic properties in sympathetic neurons. In the rat, this includes suppression of the noradrenergic enzymes tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine β-hydroxylase. Lower enzyme levels result in part from suppression of gene transcription, but the mechanisms are unknown. We found that ciliary neurotrophic factor decreased the transcriptional activator Phox2a in neuroblastoma cells and cultured sympathetic neurons, suggesting that the loss of Phox2a is part of the mechanism by which CNTF suppresses tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine β-hydroxylase. Consistent with this model, Phox2a is suppressed in rat cholinergic sympathetic neurons where noradrenergic enzymes decrease, but is not altered in mouse cholinergic neurons where these enzymes remain high.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-36
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Cholinergic differentiation
  • Ciliary neurotrophic factor
  • Noradrenergic
  • Phox2a

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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