Enteric glial cells express full-length TrkB and depend on TrkB expression for normal development

M. B. Levanti, I. Esteban, E. Ciriaco, P. Pérez-Piñera, R. Cabo, O. García-Suarez, B. Pardo, I. Silos-Santiago, J. Cobo, J. A. Vega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The embryonic development of the enteric nervous system (ENS) from neural crest precursor cells requires neurotrophic signaling. Neurotrophins (NTs) are a family of growth factors that bind Trk receptors to signal diverse functions, including development and maintenance of different cell populations in the peripheral nervous system. In this study we investigated the expression and cell localization of TrkB, the high affinity receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor and NT-4, in the murine ENS using Western blot and immunohistochemistry. The results demonstrate that enteric glial cells within the ENS express full-length TrkB at all stages tested. The ENS of TrkB deficient mice have reduced expression of glial cell markers, and a disarrangement of glial cells and the plexular neuropil. These results strongly suggest TrkB has essential roles in the normal development and maintenance of glial cells in the ENS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 17 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Enteric glial cells
  • Enteric nervous system
  • Neurotrophins
  • TrkB
  • TrkB deficient mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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