The dependence on gp130 cytokines of axotomy induced neuropeptide expression in adult sympathetic neurons

Beth A. Habecker, Hilary Hyatt Sachs, Hermann Rohrer, Richard E. Zigmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Adult peripheral neurons exhibit dramatic changes in gene expression after axonal injury, including changes in neuropeptide phenotype. For example, sympathetic neurons in the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) begin to express vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), galanin, pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP), and cholecystokinin after axotomy. Before these changes, nonneuronal cells in the SCG begin to express leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). When the effects of axotomy were compared in LIF-/- and wild-type mice, the increases in VIP and galanin expression were less in the former, though significant increases still occurred. LIF belongs to a family of cyto- kines with overlapping physiological effects and multi- meric receptors containing the subunit gp130. Real-time PCR revealed large increases in the SCG after axotomy in mRNA for three members of this cytokine family, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-11, and LIF, with modest increases in oncostatin M, no changes in ciliary neuro- trophic factor, and decreases in cardiotrophin-1. To explore the role of these cytokines, animals with selective elimination of the gp130 receptor in noradrenergic neurons were studied. No significant changes in mRNA levels for VIP, galanin, and PACAP were seen in axo- tomized ganglia from these mutant mice, while the increase in cholecystokinin was as large as that seen in wild-type mice. The data indicate that the inductions of VIP, galanin, and PACAP after axotomy are completely dependent on gp130 cytokines and that a second cyto- kine, in addition to LIF, is involved. The increase in cho- lecystokinin after axotomy, however, does not require the action of these cytokines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Neurobiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Cholecystokinin
  • Galanin
  • Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide
  • Superior cervical ganglion
  • Vasoactive intestinal peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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