Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
A functional role for Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the peripheral nervous system is well-documented, but a similar case for NGF in the central nervous system remains to be established. One approach to answering this question would be the availability of high-affinity monospecific Fab fragments obtained against NGF. In the present studies we describe the preparation and characterization of such Fab fragments from anti-mouse NGF polyclonal antibodies. Following their purification by the use of a NGF Sepharose-coupled affinity column, the Fab fragments were examined for biological competence in several ways. In vitro, the anti-Fab fragments blcoked the neuronotrophic activity of NGF, as measured by the survival of chicken embryonic day 8 dorsal root ganglion neurons. In vivo, these Fab fragments, when administered systemically to neonatal rats, produced a decrease of noradrenaline levels in two sympathetically innervated organs, the heart and the spleen. These findings suggest that affinity purified Fab fragments of anti-NGF antibodies can be a useful tool for studying the physiological function of NGF in the nervous system.
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