Trigeminal (V) ganglion cells with different neurochemical phenotypes or different birth dates are affected differently by neonatal axonal transection. The aim of the present study was to determine if V ganglion cell birth date and neurochemical phenotype were correlated and if these two variables could be related to responses to neonatal axonal transection. Immunocytochemistry, histochemistry, and [3H] thymidine labelling were used to determine the birth dates of V ganglion cells recognized by antibodies directed against neurofilament protein (NF), calcitonin gene‐related peptide (CGRP), and substance P (SP) and those that bound the lectin Bandierea simplicifolia‐I (BS‐I). All V ganglion cells were born between embryonic days (E‐) 9.5 and 14.5. All ganglion cells were born between E‐9.5 and E‐14.5. In a normalized population (percentages normalized to equal 100%), over 90% of NF‐positive V ganglion cells were born between E‐10.5 and E‐12.5. The majority of CGRP‐positive and SP‐positive ganglion cells (> 90%) were generated from E‐13.5 to E‐14.5 and E‐12.5 through E‐14.5, respectively. Almost 85% of BS‐I‐positive ganglion cells were generated on E‐12.5 through E‐14.5. Previous results and additional data from this study indicated that NF‐ and BS‐I‐positive ganglion cells are proportionally more likely to be lost after neonatal axotomy and that SP‐positive cells are more likely to remain. The percentage of CGRP‐positive cells in the V ganglion was not significantly altered by neonatal infraorbital nerve transection. Overall, these findings do not indicate a strong relationship between cell birth date and the probability of survival after neonatal axonal damage for all V ganglion cell phenotypes. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- cell death
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