RGD Reference Report - Involvement of alpha4 integrins in maintenance of cardiac sympathetic axons. - Rat Genome Database
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Involvement of alpha4 integrins in maintenance of cardiac sympathetic axons.

Authors: Wingerd, Kevin L  Wayne, William C  Jackson, David Y  Clegg, Dennis O 
Citation: Wingerd KL, etal., Auton Neurosci. 2005 Oct 30;122(1-2):58-68. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2005.08.006. Epub 2005 Sep 19.
RGD ID: 13593536
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:16181811
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1016/j.autneu.2005.08.006

Sympathetic neurons extend and maintain axons that innervate the myocardium, and proper innervation is important for cardiac function. However, the molecular basis for axon outgrowth and maintenance is not well understood. We have shown previously that the integrin alpha4beta1 is expressed on developing axons, and the alpha4 function is important for the development of innervation in vivo [Wingerd, K.L., Goodman, N.L., Tresser, J.W., Smail, M.M., Leu, S.T., Rohan, S.J., Pring, J.L., Jackson, D.Y., and Clegg, D.O., 2002. Alpha 4 integrins and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 play a role in sympathetic innervation of the heart. J. Neurosci. 22,10772-10780]. Here we examine the function of alpha4beta1 integrins in the maintenance of cardiac sympathetic innervation in vitro and in vivo, and investigate integrin expression and function after myocardial infarction and in hypertensive rats. On substrates of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), alpha4beta1 was required for both initial outgrowth and maintenance of neurites in vitro. On fibronectin substrates, initial outgrowth requires only alpha4 integrins, but maintenance requires both alpha4 integrins and RGD-dependent integrins. In vivo, in adult Long Evans rats, inhibition of alpha4 integrins resulted in decreased maintenance of sympathetic fibers innervating the apex of the heart. However, alpha4 integrins were not detected on most sympathetic axons that sprout after myocardial infarction, and alpha4 function was not required for sprouting. Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) have increased numbers of cardiac sympathetic fibers compared to the parental Wistar strain, but many of these lack alpha4 expression, and alpha4 function is not required for maintenance of these fibers in the heart. These results suggest that developing sympathetic axons and sprouting sympathetic axons use different mechanisms of outgrowth, and that maintenance of cardiac sympathetic innervation involves alpha4 integrins in some rat strains.


Gene Ontology Annotations    

Biological Process

Objects Annotated

Genes (Rattus norvegicus)
Itga4  (integrin subunit alpha 4)

Additional Information