Growth factor receptors in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Abdu Adem, Jonas Ekblom, Per Göran Gillberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The regional distribution of nerve growth factor (NGF) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) receptors in human spinal cords from controls and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients was studied by quantitative autoradiography. High-affinity nerve growth factor receptors were found to be distributed to a similar extent within the various segments of the human spinal cord and predominantly within the substantia gelatinosa of the dorsal horn, whereas no significant binding could be detected in the motor-neuron areas. A similar pattern of binding was obtained in the ALS spinal cords. Moreover, no reexpression of NGF receptors could be demonstrated in the motor-neuron areas of ALS spinal cords. When comparing125I-IGF-1 binding in the different spinal levels of normal spinal cord, the same distribution pattern was found in which the binding was highest in the central canal > dorsal horn > ventral horn > white matter. In the ALS cases, although a general upregulation of IGF-1 receptors was observed throughout the spinal cord, significant increases were observed in the cervical and sacral segments compared to controls. The cartography of IGF-1 receptors in the normal spinal cord as well as the change of these receptors in diseased spinal cord may be of importance in future treatment strategies of ALS.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)225-231
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Aug 1994


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • human
  • insulin-like growth factor receptors
  • insulin-like growth factors
  • motor neurons, receptor autoradiography
  • nerve growth factor receptors
  • spinal cord


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