Neurotransmitter phenotype-specific expression changes in developing sympathetic neurons

Galina Apostolova, Roland Dorn, Sojeong Ka, Finn Hallböök, Joakim Lundeberg, Keren Liser, Vicky Hakim, Claude Brodski, Theologos M. Michaelidis, Georg Dechant

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Scopus citations


    During late developmental phases individual sympathetic neurons undergo a switch from noradrenergic to cholinergic neurotransmission. This phenomenon of plasticity depends on target-derived signals in vivo and is triggered by neurotrophic factors in neuronal cultures. To analyze genome-wide expression differences between the two transmitter phenotypes we employed DNA microarrays. RNA expression profiles were obtained from chick paravertebral sympathetic ganglia, treated with neurotrophin 3, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor or ciliary neurotrophic factor, all of which stimulate cholinergic differentiation. Results were compared with the effect of nerve growth factor, which functions as a pro-noradrenergic stimulus. The gene set common to all three comparisons defined the noradrenergic and cholinergic synexpression groups. Several functional categories, such as signal transduction, G-protein-coupled signaling, cation transport, neurogenesis and synaptic transmission, were enriched in these groups. Experiments based on the prediction that some of the identified genes play a role in the neurotransmitter switch identified bone morphogenetic protein signaling as an inhibitor of cholinergic differentiation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)397-408
    Number of pages12
    JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1 Jul 2007


    • Acetylcholine
    • Microarray
    • Neurotrophic
    • Noradrenalin
    • Sympathetic

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Molecular Biology
    • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
    • Cell Biology


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