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

Decreased expression of TrkB and TrkC mRNAs in spinal motoneurons of aged rats.

Several studies have indicated that a decrease in availability and/or responsiveness to neurotrophin(s) may be of importance in ageing and disease-related neurodegeneration. Using in situ hybridization we have studied the mRNA expression of the full-length neurotrophin receptors TrkB and TrkC in spinal cord motoneurons of aged rats (30 months old) with symptoms of hindlimb incapacity and in young adult rats (2-3 months old). The labelling intensity for TrkB of the individual cell profile was decreased by 25% (P < 0.001) in both the cervical and lumbar motor nuclei of aged rats. In thoracic motoneurons of aged and young adult rats the difference in expression of TrkB mRNA was smaller (down by 15%; P < 0.05). The labelling for TrkC mRNA was much weaker than that for TrkB in both aged and young adult rats, but TrkC mRNA expression also seemed to decrease. Comparison of the different motor nuclei along the spinal cord axis revealed that the motoneurons of the L6/S1 nuclei showed the strongest hybridization signal for the two Trk receptors in both aged and young adult rats. The possibility that a decrease in TrkB mRNA may contribute to age-related motor disturbances is discussed.[1]


  1. Decreased expression of TrkB and TrkC mRNAs in spinal motoneurons of aged rats. Johnson, H., Hökfelt, T., Ulfhake, B. Eur. J. Neurosci. (1996) [Pubmed]
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