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Front Neurol. 2014 May 26;5:79. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2014.00079. eCollection 2014.

Insulin-Like Growth Factor Receptor Signaling is Necessary for Epidermal Growth Factor Mediated Proliferation of SVZ Neural Precursors in vitro Following Neonatal Hypoxia-Ischemia.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers University , Newark, NJ , USA.


In this study, we assessed the importance of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor co-signaling for rat neural precursor (NP) cell proliferation and self-renewal in the context of a developmental brain injury that is associated with cerebral palsy. Consistent with previous studies, we found that there is an increase in the in vitro growth of subventricular zone NPs isolated acutely after cerebral hypoxia-ischemia; however, when cultured in medium that is insufficient to stimulate the IGF type 1 receptor, neurosphere formation and the proliferative capacity of those NPs was severely curtailed. This reduced growth capacity could not be attributed simply to failure to survive. The growth and self-renewal of the NPs could be restored by addition of both IGF-I and IGF-II. Since the size of the neurosphere is predominantly due to cell proliferation we hypothesized that the IGFs were regulating progression through the cell cycle. Analyses of cell cycle progression revealed that IGF-1R activation together with EGFR co-signaling decreased the percentage of cells in G1 and enhanced cell progression into S and G2. This was accompanied by increases in expression of cyclin D1, phosphorylated histone 3, and phosphorylated Rb. Based on these data, we conclude that coordinate signaling between the EGF receptor and the IGF type 1 receptor is necessary for the normal proliferation of NPs as well as for their reactive expansion after injury. These data indicate that manipulations that maintain or amplify IGF signaling in the brain during recovery from developmental brain injuries will enhance the production of new brain cells to improve neurological function in children who are at risk for developing cerebral palsy.


cell proliferation; central nervous system; growth factors; regeneration; stem cell niche

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