Dorsal root ganglion neurons are destroyed by exposure in utero to maternal antibody to nerve growth factor

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Science  21 Nov 1980:
Vol. 210, Issue 4472, pp. 916-918
DOI: 10.1126/science.7192014


Rats and guinea pigs, when immunized with mouse nerve growth factor, produce antibodies that cross-react with their own nerve growth factor. The antibodies reach developing offspring of these animals both prenatally (rats and guinea pigs) and postnatally (rats). Depriving the fetus of nerve growth factor in this way results in the destruction of up to 85 percent of dorsal root ganglion neurons as well as destruction of sympathetic neurons. Sensory neurons of placodal origin in the nodose ganglion were not affected. These data demonstrate that dorsal root ganglion neurons go through a phase of nerve growth factor dependence in vivo.