Cloning, expression during development, and evidence for release of a trophic factor for ciliary ganglion neurons. Academic Article uri icon


  • Ciliary ganglion (CG) neurons undergo a period of cell death during development that may be regulated by the limited availability of trophic factor produced by their target tissues. We have previously reported the purification of a ciliary neurotrophic factor from adult chick sciatic nerve that we called growth promoting activity (GPA). Here we demonstrate that GPA can be purified and cloned from embryonic day 15 (E15) chick eyes, which contain all the target tissues of the CG. Our studies show the following: GPA mRNA is induced in embryonic chick eyes during the period of CG neuron cell death; GPA mRNA is expressed specifically in the layer of the eye that contains the targets of the CG and in primary cultures of smooth muscle cells isolated from the choroid layer of the eye; and biologically active GPA is released from cells transfected with a GPA cDNA.

publication date

  • June 1992

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