Temporal pattern of nerve growth factor receptor expression in developing cochlear and vestibular ganglia in quail and mouse
NGF binding patterns reflect the presence of receptors for this growth factor. High specific binding of 125I 2.5 S-NGF was observed for the 11 gestation day (gd) statoacoustic ganglion (SAG) with lower levels recorded for both 14 gd acoustic ganglion (AG) and vestibular ganglion (VG) samples. Fourteen day AG cells were more than twice as active for binding NGF when compared to VG samples of the same gestational age. Both whole ganglion explants and dissociated cell cultures were grown in chemically defined medium for short term culture to assay changes in neurite outgrowth and survival of neurons in response to the addition of exogenous 2.5 S-NGF. The most vigorous neurite outgrowth and neuronal survival responses were produced by 11 gd SAG samples treated with NGF. Acoustic ganglion specimens of both 11 gd and 14 gd embryos were much more responsive to the neurotrophic effects of NGF when compared to the responses of their VG counterparts. There was a correlation between NGF binding ability and in vitro responsiveness to exogenous NGF. We hypothesize based on the results of this study that NGF (and/or a member of the NGF family of growth factors) is involved in the control of developmentally regulated neuronal cell death of SAG neurons and may play a role in the innervation of developing inner ear sensory structures.