Localization of NGF Expression in Mouse Spleen and Salivary Gland: Relevance to Pleotropic Functions

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Our primary goal was to determine if leukocytes are a source of nerve growth factor (NGF) in mouse spleen. Noradrenergic nerves were localized to arteries and white pulp in normal spleens but only to arteries in ultra-immunodeficient R2G2 mice that lack leukocytes. NGF mRNA was detected in vascular cells and leukocytes of normal spleen, and several of the latter were T cells based on double labeling for NGF mRNA and CD3. Our findings indicate NGF is produced by vascular cells and to a lesser extent by leukocytes in spleen and provide support for pleiotropic actions in spleen and salivary glands.