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Cell Differ. 1987 Jun;21(1):63-8.

Stimulation in cell culture of mesenchymal cells of newt limb blastemas by EDGF I or II (basic or acidic FGF).


After amputation of a newt limb, a blastema forms on the amputation plane and later differentiates to regenerate all the missing parts of the limb. Proliferation of blastema cells is under the control of severed nerves which deliver a 'neurotrophic factor' (NTF) of unknown nature. In order to characterize this factor we use a primary culture of blastema mesenchymal cells; changes in mitotic index after 48-h colchicine treatment indicate mitogenic activity of potential growth substances. These cells, which are stimulated by nerve extracts (mitotic index X 6), were tested with two purified growth factors extracted from bovine retina or brain (EDGF I = basic FGF and EDGF II = acidic FGF). We show that these two growth factors stimulate proliferation of blastema cell cultures in a dose-dependent manner. Maximal stimulation was obtained at 3 pM for EDGF I (mitotic index X 5.7) or 300 pM for EDGF II (mitotic index X 4.9). So it appears that these two growth factors have a mitogenic activity on blastema mesenchymal cells similar to that obtained with nerve extracts. The fact that two different growth factors can stimulate these cells raises the question of whether both are present in NTF and/or whether there are receptors to both EDGF I and EDGF II on mesenchymal cell membranes.

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