Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor Receptors on Neuroblastoma Cells
Stanley Halvorsen Principal Investigator
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Ciliary neurotrophic factor, CNTF, is a protein known to promote survival and differentiation of specific classes of neurons grown in culture, as well as to affect the development of glial cells. The basic molecular mechanisms for the effects of CNTF are not known. A simple, easily accessible system, human neuroblastoma tumor cells, will be used to identify CNTF receptors. In addition, a pharmacological approach will be taken to characterize the intracellular mechanisms involved in transducing the CNTF signal to affect cell physiology. The regulation of CNTF receptors by neurotransmitters and ion channel ligands, as well as during phorbol ester induced cell differentiation will also be studied. These studies promise to provide fundamental knowledge about factors crucial to the development, survival, regeneration and aging of specific types of cells in the nervous system.