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Neurosignals. 2010;18(3):141-51. doi: 10.1159/000319823. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor is a potent neurotrophic factor for PC12 cells.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Center for Perinatal Research, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA.


Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF) is a member of the epidermal growth factor family that is expressed in many cell types. We have previously reported the effects of HB-EGF on intestinal epithelial cells and endothelial cells after exposure to ischemia/reperfusion in vivo or anoxia/reoxygenation injury in vitro. However, the effect of HB-EGF on neuronal cells is largely unexplored. In this study, we examined the effect of HB-EGF on neurite outgrowth in pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells as well as the neuroprotective effect of HB-EGF on injured PC12 cells exposed to oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD), which mimics ischemic conditions. We found that HB-EGF significantly promotes PC12 cell neurite outgrowth and that this effect was blocked by EGF receptor (EGFR) inhibition or mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibition, but not by tyrosine kinase inhibition. In the face of OGD injury, HB-EGF preserves cell viability and decreases apoptosis and LDH release in PC12 cells. HB-EGF-mediated cytoprotection was abolished by EGFR inhibition and MAPK inhibition. We conclude that HB-EGF, through its interaction with the EGF receptor, activates the MAPK signaling pathway in PC12 cells under basal or injury conditions, leading to enhanced neurite outgrowth and neuroprotection against ischemic injury.

Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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