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Neurosci Lett. 1999 Nov 19;275(3):203-6.

Rat primary cultured microglia express glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor receptors.

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  • 1Department of Neurochemistry, National Institute of Neuroscience, Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan.


The neurotrophic effect of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has been well documented in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. From the histological findings, target cells of GDNF have been considered to be neurons. In the present study, the expression of GDNF receptors, ret and GFRalpha-1, was demonstrated in rat primary cultured microglia by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and the protein-level expression of Ret was also confirmed by Western-blotting analyses. Moreover, GDNF stimulated the phosphorylation of MAP kinase (ERK1/2) in the cells. These results suggest that GDNF regulates not only neuronal survival and maturation but also certain functions of microglia in the brain.

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