Potentiation of transmitter release by ciliary neurotrophic factor requires somatic signaling

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Science  03 Feb 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5198, pp. 695-699
DOI: 10.1126/science.7839148


Neurotrophic factors participate in the development and maintenance of the nervous system. Application of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), a protein that promotes survival of motor neurons, resulted in an immediate potentiation of spontaneous and impulse-evoked transmitter release at developing neuromuscular synapses in Xenopus cell cultures. When CNTF was applied at the synapse, the onset of the potentiation was slower than that produced by application at the cell body of the presynaptic neuron. The potentiation effect was abolished when the neurite shaft was severed from the cell body. Thus, transmitter secretion from the nerve terminals is under immediate somatic control and can be regulated by CNTF.

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