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FASEB J. 2006 Jul;20(9):1484-5. Epub 2006 May 24.

FGF-4 regulates neural progenitor cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Biology, School of Education, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan.


The FGF-4 (fibroblast growth factor 4, known as HST-1) protein is an important mitogen for a variety of cell types. However, only limited information is available concerning tissue distribution and the biological role of FGF-4 in the brain. In situ hybridization analysis revealed localization of mouse Fgf-4 mRNA in the normal postnatal mouse hippocampus, subventricular zone (SVZ), and the rostral migratory stream where new neurons generate, migrate, and become incorporated into the functional circuitry of the brain. We also investigated whether FGF-4 could promote both proliferation and differentiation of the neural progenitor cells by using an in vitro neurosphere assay. The addition of recombinant FGF-4 generated large proliferative spheres that have a multipotent differentiation ability. Furthermore, recombinant FGF-4 significantly promotes neuronal differentiation in attached clonal neurosphere culture. These findings suggest that FGF-4 has an ability to promote neural stem cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation in the postnatal brain.

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