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J Neurosci Res. 2007 Jul;85(9):1943-51.

Guanine derivatives modulate extracellular matrix proteins organization and improve neuron-astrocyte co-culture.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Trindade, Florianópolis, SC, Brasil.


Guanine derivatives (GD) have been shown to exert relevant extracellular effects as intercellular messengers, neuromodulators in the central nervous system, and trophic effects on astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes have been pointed out as the major source of trophic factors in the nervous system, however, several trophic effects of astrocytic-released soluble factors are mediated through modulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. In this study, we investigated the effects of guanosine-5'-monophosphate (GMP) and guanosine (GUO) on the expression and organization of ECM proteins in cerebellar astrocytes. Moreover, to evaluate the effects of astrocytes pre-treated with GMP or GUO on cerebellar neurons we used a neuron-astrocyte coculture model. GMP or GUO alters laminin and fibronectin organization from a punctate to a fibrillar pattern, however, the expression levels of the ECM proteins were not altered. Guanine derivatives-induced alteration of ECM proteins organization is mediated by activation of mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK), CA(2+)-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMK-II), protein kinase C (PKC), and protein kinase A (PKA) pathways. Furthermore, astrocytes treated with GMP or GUO promoted an increased number of cerebellar neurons in coculture, without altering the neuritogenesis pattern. No proliferation of neurons or astrocytes was observed due to GMP or GUO treatment. Our results show that guanine derivatives promote a reorganization of the ECM proteins produced by astrocytes, which might be responsible for a better interaction with neurons in cocultures.

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