We analyzed the survival responses and downstream signaling elicited by GDNF on sympathetic neurons from different Ret knockin mice. Lack of tyrosine 1062, a multidocking site in Ret, completely prevented GDNF-mediated survival. Importantly, lack of tyrosine 981, although abrogating Akt phosphorylation, had no effect on neuronal survival, indicating that the PI 3-K/Akt pathway is not necessary for survival of sympathetic neurons. In contrast, silencing of B-Raf completely prevented not only GDNF-mediated but also NGF-mediated cell survival, independently of MEK-1/2. We identified IKKs as the main effectors of the protective effects of B-Raf. First, B-Raf interacted with and activated IKKs. Second, knockdown of IKKs reversed the protection afforded by a constitutively active form of B-Raf. Third, knockdown of IKKs prevented both NGF- and GDNF-mediated survival. In conclusion, our data delineate a novel survival pathway for sympathetic neurons linking B-Raf to IKKs, independently of both PI 3-K and MEK-1/2 pathways.