Expression of neu and Neu differentiation factor in the olfactory mucosa of rat

Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani, Albert I. Farbman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growth and differentiation of olfactory sensory neurons are regulated tightly. We had shown previously, by immunohistochemistry, that transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor are present in the olfactory epithelium of untreated adult rats and that TGF-α is a potent mitogen of olfactory epithelium in vitro. Expression of EGF receptor and TGF-α was detected primarily in horizontal basal cells and supporting cells but rarely in globose basal cells, which suggested that EGF receptor is not a likely candidate for the mitotic regulator of sensory neurons. In order to expand the search for candidate regulators, we have now examined other members of the EGF family of receptors and ligands. By utilizing reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) methodology, we have detected the messenger RNA encoding the protein of the neu gene (p185(neu)) and Neu differentiation factor (NDF) isoforms in the olfactory mucosa. Immunohistochemical localization of p185(neu) and NDF indicates expression of these proteins in the olfactory epithelium of adult rats in regions where globose basal cells and immature sensory neurons are found, as well as in the ensheathing cells of the olfactory nerve. The presence of neu and NDF transcripts in the olfactory tissue and the localization of their encoded polypeptides to proliferative regions of the epithelium suggest involvement of these gene products in the regulated proliferation/differentiation of the sensory neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-811
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Nov 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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