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J Neurosci Res. 2007 Nov 15;85(15):3457-64.

Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor protects astrocytes from staurosporine- and ischemia- induced apoptosis.

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  • 1Neuroscience Research Institute, Peking University, Beijing, China. achy@bjmu.edu.cn


Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) promotes the survival and functions of neurons. It has been shown to be a promising candidate in the treatment of ischemia and other neurodegenerative diseases. We transfected mouse astrocytes in primary cultures with a human GDNF gene and found that their conditioned medium could not only support the growth and survival of cultured dopaminergic neurons but also protect astrocytes from staurosporine- and ischemia-induced apoptosis. This indicated that these transfected astrocytes could release GDNF. A similar protective effect on astrocytes against apoptosis was evident when recombinant human GDNF was used. Moreover, GDNF reduced caspase-3 activity but not that of caspase-1 in cultured astrocytes after ischemia treatment. Thus, GDNF protects astrocytes from apoptosis by inhibiting the activation of caspase-3.

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