Nerve growth factor (NGF) exerts protective actions in the healthy and diseased nervous system. Intranasal administration is a suitable and safe strategy to deliver NGF to CNS neurons. We investigated whether nasal anti-NGF-antibody (ANA) administration affects neuronal autophagy, in view of its putative regulatory role in this process. We focused on olfactory bulbs (OB), neocortex (Cx), hippocampus (HF) and septal complex (SC), known to be NGF-responsive and autophagically active. Our combined molecular/morphological results demonstrate that intranasally administered ANA reaches brain NGF-target neurons and lowers the levels of endogenous NGF and its receptors. Treatment also affects - in a brain region-dependent manner - the expression of the autophagic proteins Beclin-1 and Ambra1, as well as that of proteins belonging to the Bcl2 family, namely Bax and Bcl-2, reflecting apoptotic dysregulation. This study provides a nongenetically modified, NGF-defective animal model, representing a suitable tool to investigate novel properties of the neurotrophin, especially in relation to autophagy.
Rosso, P., Moreno, S., Fracassi, A., Rocco, M.l., Aloe, L. (2015). Nerve Growth Factor and autophagy: effect of nasal Anti-NGF-Antibodies administration on Ambra1 and Beclin-1 expression in rat brain. GROWTH FACTORS, 1(1), 1-9 [10.3109/08977194.2015.1122002].