Neuronal Cell Death: Retraction

Science  16 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5426, pp. 337h
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5426.337h

We reported that p75 nerve growth factor receptor (p75NGFR) induces the death of a subpopulation of cholinergic medial septum neurons during postnatal development (Reports, 6 Dec. 1996, p. 1729) (1). In an analysis of new sets of p75NGFR-deficient and control mice, we find, contrary to our previous report, that (i) the number of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-positive (cholinergic) medial septum neurons increases between postnatal days 6 and 15 in 129/Sv and Balb/c control mice; (ii) the number of TUNEL (an indicator of apoptosis)-positive cells in the medial septum is similarly low (one to two cells per 10-micrometer section) in p75NGFR-deficient and control mice at postnatal day 8; and (iii) the number of ChAT-positive neurons is similar in adult p75NGFR-deficient and control mice (2). Reanalysis of brain tissue sections from the mice of the previous report (1) confirms points (i) and (ii) and reveals that the adult p75NGFR-deficient mice have only approximately 20 more ChAT-positive septal neurons than does the new group of control mice, as compared with the reported 50. In addition, we fail to confirm that the control mice treated with the p75NGFR-interfering dc28-36 peptide have more ChAT-positive neurons than the mice treated with vehicle.

Thus, there does not appear to be a decrease in cholinergic medial septum neurons during postnatal life, and thus p75NGFR does not appear to cause the death of these neurons. I sincerely apologize for any difficulties that the incorrect information may have caused.


  1. 1.
  2. 2.

Navigate This Article