NGFI-A and NGFI-B are two genes that are induced in PC12 cells treated with nerve growth factor and encode zinc-finger proteins that may act as transcription factors. To study the function of these genes in vivo, their expression in rat embryos and postnatally developing tissues was examined. Both genes are expressed during embryogenesis from E12 to E18. In postnatally developing animals, these genes are induced in cortex, midbrain and cerebellum, suggesting that they may function in one or many of the changes that occur during postnatal maturation of the brain. Both genes are expressed at a low, constitutive level in a subset of other non-neuronal tissues, but also demonstrate developmental changes in expression in many other organs. To examine expression of these genes in ganglia of the peripheral nervous system, a sensitive and quantitative assay employing reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction was developed. Results obtained with this assay demonstrated that expression of both NGFI-A and NGFI-B is modulated in the peripheral nervous system during postnatal maturation, but not in a pattern concordant with previously characterized NGF receptor expression. These studies suggest that NGFI-A and NGFI-B serve multiple, tissue-specific functions and are under complex regulation in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-183
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1990


  • Gene expression
  • NGFI-A
  • NGFI-B
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Rat


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