The transcription factor Gata3 is essential for the development of sympathetic neurons and adrenal chromaffin cells. As Gata3 expression is maintained up to the adult stage, we addressed its function in differentiated sympathoadrenal cells at embryonic and adult stages by conditional Gata3 elimination. Inactivation of Gata3 in embryonic DBH-expressing neurons elicits a strong reduction in neuron numbers due to apoptotic cell death and reduced proliferation. No selective effect on noradrenergic gene expression (TH and DBH) was observed. Interestingly, Gata3 elimination in DBH-expressing neurons of adult animals also results in a virtually complete loss of sympathetic neurons. In the Gata3-deficient population, the expression of anti-apoptotic genes (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and NFκB) is diminished, whereas the expression of pro-apoptotic genes (Bik, Bok, and Bmf) was increased. The expression of noradrenergic genes (TH and DBH) is not affected. These results demonstrate that Gata3 is continuously required for maintaining survival but not differentiation in the sympathetic neuron lineage up to mature neurons of adult animals. Copyright

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Journal The Journal of Neuroscience
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Tsarovina, K, Reiff, T, Stubbusch, J, Kurek, D, Grosveld, F.G, Parlato, R, … Rohrer, H. (2010). The Gata3 transcription factor is required for the survival of embryonic and adult sympathetic neurons. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30(32), 10833–10843. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0175-10.2010