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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neurotrophin-3 signaling in mammalian Merkel cell development.

Merkel cells are sensory cells of neural crest origin. Because little is known about the mechanisms that direct their differentiation, we have investigated the potential role of a candidate regulatory factor, neurotrophin-3 (NT-3). At embryonic day 16.5 (E 16.5), neither NT-3 nor its primary receptors, TrkC and p75NTR are expressed by Merkel cells in the murine whisker. At the time of birth, however, Merkel cells are immunoreactive for NT-3, TrkC and p75NTR. In TrkC null and NT-3 null mice, Merkel cells differentiate initially, but undergo apoptosis perinatally. These results show that NT-3 signaling is not required for the differentiation of Merkel cells, but that it is essential for their postnatal survival.[1]


  1. Neurotrophin-3 signaling in mammalian Merkel cell development. Szeder, V., Grim, M., Kucera, J., Sieber-Blum, M. Dev. Dyn. (2003) [Pubmed]
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