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Essential role of stem cell factor signaling in primary sensory neuron development

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Maya Sieber-Blum


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Here we show that stem cell factor (SCF) signaling through its receptor, c-kit, is essential for the development of c-kit-expressing small- and medium-diameter primary sensory neurons. We used the W mouse, which is c-kit deficient and has a perinatal lethal phenotype due to a naturally occurring point mutation in the c-kit gene. In c-kit-null newborn mice, 52.5% of substance P immunoreactive and 31.4% of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) immunoreactive small- and medium-diameter sensory neurons were absent, whereas large-diameter sensory neurons were unaffected. Equivalent deficits occurred during embryogenesis. There was neither a developmental delay nor degeneration of differentiated neurons. We thus conclude that, in the absence of SCF signaling, neural crest-derived progenitors do not differentiate into c-kit-expressing visceral and somatic afferent neurons.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zhang ZJ, Sieber-Blum M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Developmental Neuroscience

Year: 2009

Volume: 31

Issue: 3

Pages: 202-211

ISSN (print): 0378-5866

ISSN (electronic): 1421-9859

Publisher: S. Karger AG


DOI: 10.1159/000193396


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