Nerve growth factor is an autocrine survival factor for memory B lymphocytes

Maria Torcia, Luisa Bracci-Laudiero, Maria Lucibello, Lucia Nencioni, Danilo Labardi, Anna Rubartelli, Federico Cozzolino, Luigi Aloe, Enrico Garaci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Production of nerve growth factor (NGF) was assessed in cultures of human T and B lymphocytes and macrophages. NGF was constitutively produced by B cells only, which also expressed surface p140(trk-A) and p75(NGFR) molecules and hence efficiently bound and internalized the cytokine. Neutralization of endogenous NGF caused disappearance of Bcl-2 protein and apoptotic death of resting lymphocytes bearing surface IgG or IgA, a population comprising memory cells, while surface IgM/IgD 'virgin' B lymphocytes were not affected. In vivo administration of neutralizing anti-NGF antibodies caused strong reduction in the titer of specific IgG in mice immunized with tetanus toxoid, nitrophenol, or arsonate and reduced numbers of surface IgG or IgA B lymphocytes. Thus, NGF is an autocrine survival factor for memory B lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-356
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 3 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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