Indexed on: 01 Jul '93Published on: 01 Jul '93Published in: Journal of Neuroscience Research
Neurotrophins may have a neuroprotective role and are probably involved in the control of axonal sprouting and synaptic plasticity. An antibody raised against a pro-sequence of nerve growth factor (NGF) was tested. In control undisturbed rats, a strong immunoreactivity was detected in scattered cells in and around the pyramidal and granule cell layer of the hippocampus and a moderate labeling was found in the reticular thalamic nucleus. In situ hybridization showed specific expression of NGF mRNA in a similar population of scattered cells in the hippocampal formation but not in the reticular thalamic nucleus. Acute epileptic seizures, induced by a convulsive dose of 50 mg/kg pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), strongly increased NGF mRNA in neurons of the granular layer of the dentate gyrus 3 hr but not 6 hr after the injection. No change in pro-NGF-like immunoreactivity was observed in the hippocampus or reticular thalamic nucleus after acute seizures. Chemical kindling was induced by daily injections of subconvulsive doses (30 mg/kg) of PTZ for 4 weeks. This treatment significantly increased pro-NGF-like immunoreactivity in the reticular thalamic nucleus but did not affect NGF mRNA. These data strengthen a role for the reticular thalamic nucleus and NGF in PTZ kindling.