During development and nerve injury, complex interactions between glial cells and neurons are essential for establishing proper nerve function. Neurotrophins play multiple roles in the developing nervous system, including cell survival, growth, and differentiation. Here we show that migration of Schwann cells, isolated from sciatic nerves, is significantly enhanced by neurotrophin 3, but not by nerve growth factor or brain-derived neurotrophic factor. The neurotrophin-3-induced cell migration was also observed in Schwann cells isolated from sciatic nerves of p75NTR-/- mice, indicating that neurotrophin 3 enhances cell migration through TrkC. This effect was blocked by K252a, an inhibitor of the Trk receptor family. Additionally, the neurotrophin-3-induced cell migration depended on Rho GTPases (Rac1 and Cdc42) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase. We obtained the same results with Cos-7 cells expressing TrkC. Taken together, these results suggest that neurotrophin 3 activation of TrkC induces Schwann cell migration through the c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling pathway
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