Effect of nerve growth factor on catecholamine metabolism in a human neuroblastoma clone (SY5Y)

J. Regino Perez-Polo, Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni, Michael G. Ziegler, Karin Werrbach-Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The neuroblastoma line SK-N-SH-SY5Y (SY5Y) is a thrice subcloned nearly diploid clonal line of human origin. When grown in 15% fetal calf serum in Ham''s F-12 medium as herein described, SY5Y has neuroblast-like properties in its undifferentiated state. Treatment with nerve growth factor results in morphological and physiological differentiation not unlike that elicited by nerve growth factor in sympathetic ganglia primary cultures. Careful examination of catecholamine synthesizing enzyme specific activities and catecholamine concentrations in nerve growth factor-treated SY5Y cells showed a small elevation of tyrosine hydroxylase, no change in dopamine-β-hydroxylase or in dopamine or norepinephrine intracellular concentrations. This is consistent with the interpretation that nerve growth factor acts as a permissive or trophic factor, and not necessarily as an instructive or specifying factor in this system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-423
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental Neuroscience
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • Dopamine-β-hydroxylase
  • Fetal calf serum
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Tyrosine hydroxylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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