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Cholinergic neurones acquire adrenergic neurotransmitters when transplanted into an embryo

Coulombe, James Niles and Bronner-Fraser, Marianne (1986) Cholinergic neurones acquire adrenergic neurotransmitters when transplanted into an embryo. Nature, 324 (6097). pp. 569-572. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/324569a0.

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During development, cells become progressively restricted, until they reach their final phenotype. Differentiation was originally thought to be irreversible, but phenotypic plasticity has been observed in a variety of cell types, for example sympathetic neurones, the limb blastema and some glial cell types. A detailed description of the individual steps that lead to expression or reversal of phenotype is essential to understand the molecular events underlying cell differentiation. We examined whether ciliary neurones acquire adrenergic properties when exposed to a permissive embryonic environment. Cholinergic neurones were selectively labelled with a retrogradely transported marker and injected into chick embryos during active neural crest migration. Four to five days after injection, some of the labelled neurones were found in ‘adrenergic sites’ and had developed catecholamine histofluorescence. The cells had thus accumulated adrenergic neurotransmitters even after differentiation into Cholinergic neurones. This result shows that neurotransmitter plasticity occurs in Cholinergic neurones and suggests that the neurotransmitter phenotype can be modified by the embryonic environment.

Item Type:Article
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Bronner-Fraser, Marianne0000-0003-4274-1862
Additional Information:© 1986 Nature Publishing Group. Received 27 June; accepted 18 September 1986. We thank Dr Scott Fraser for his helpful comments on the manuscript and Georgia Guillory and Jeffrey D. Pratt for technical assistance. This work was supported by USPHS Grant HD-15527-01 and by Basic Research Grant 1-896 from the March of Dimes.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS)HD-15527-01
March of Dimes1-896
Issue or Number:6097
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160516-110121666
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Official Citation:Cholinergic neurones acquire adrenergic neurotransmitters when transplanted into an embryo JAMES NILES COULOMBE & MARIANNE BRONNER-FRASER Nature 324, 569 - 572 (11 December 1986); doi:10.1038/324569a0
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:67127
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:16 May 2016 19:44
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 00:27

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