Leukemia inhibitory factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor cause dendritic retraction in cultured sympathetic neurons

Xin Guo, Vidya Chandrasekaran, Pamela Lein, Paul L. Kaplan, Dennis Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dendritic retraction occurs in many regions of the developing brain and also after neural injury. However, the molecules that regulate this important regressive process remain largely unknown. Our data indicate that leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) cause sympathetic neurons to retract their dendrites in vitro , ultimately leading to an ∼80% reduction in the size of the arbor. The dendritic retraction induced by LIF exhibited substantial specificity because it was not accompanied by changes in cell number, in the rate of axonal growth, or in the expression of axonal cytoskeletal elements. An antibody to gp130 blocked the effects of LIF and CNTF, and both cytokines induced phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of stat3. Moreover, addition of soluble interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor to the medium endowed IL-6 with the ability to cause dendritic regression. These data indicate that ligands activating the gp130 pathway have the ability to profoundly alter neuronal cell shape and polarity by selectively causing the retraction of dendrites.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJ. Neurosci
StatePublished - Mar 15 1999


  • leukemia inhibitory factor
  • ciliary neurotrophic factor
  • osteogenic protein-1
  • bone morphogenetic protein
  • dendritic retraction
  • dendrites
  • sympathetic neurons
  • stat3
  • gp130


  • Biology
  • Life Sciences

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