The effects of dibutyryl cAMP (dbcAMP) and nerve growth factor (NGF) on acetylcholine (ACh) release from primary cultured cells of embryonic rat septum were studied. Both dbcAMP and NGF increased the activity of choline acetyltransferase and contents of intracellular and spontaneously released ACh without affecting the total protein content. High-potassium-evoked ACh release was observed in NGF-treated cells but not in untreated and dbcAMP-treated cells. These results indicate that NGF induces cholinergic maturation from induction of the ACh-synthetic enzyme to the excitation-secretion processes.
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