Neuronal Phenotype and Tyrosine Kinase Receptor Expression in Cocultures of Dorsal Root Ganglion and Skeletal Muscle Cells



The neuropeptide-immunoreactive (IR) and neurofilament-IR neurons are two major phenotypical classes in dorsal root ganglion (DRG). Tyrosine kinase receptor (Trk)A, TrkB, and TrkC are three members of the Trk family which may be relevant to neuronal phenotypes. Whether target skeletal muscle cells generate their expression remains unclear. Neurons containing substance P (SP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), neurofilament 200 (NF-200), TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC were quantified using immunohistochemistry in rat DRG neuronal cultures and cocultures of DRG neurons and skeletal muscle cells. The percentage of NF-200 and TrkC-expressing neurons in cocultures of DRG neurons and skeletal muscle cells was significantly higher, 26.86% ± 3.17% (NF-200) and 27.74% ± 3.63% (TrkC) compared with 20.92% ± 1.98% (NF-200) and 16.70% ± 3.68% (TrkC) in DRG cultures; whereas the percentage of SP, CGRP, TrkA, and TrkB-expressing neurons was not changed significantly by the addition of target skeletal muscle cells. Thus, target skeletal muscle cells may influence neurofilament-phenotype and TrkC receptor but not neuropeptide-phenotype and TrkA and TrkB receptors. Anat Rec, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.